MAYOR: Keith Rhoades.
MAYOR: Keith Rhoades.

Rate pegging ‘a killer’

RATE-PEGGING is killing NSW economically, says Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades.

Cr Rhoades was commenting on a claim by the NSW Shires Association that local government is in financial crisis.

Association president Bruce Miller said the State Government had forced councils to pay for essential services while severely restricting their income through rate-pegging.

Cr Rhoades – who also chairs the Country Mayors Association – said NSW Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell’s pledge to examine a New Zealand model on infrastructure funding could help cash-strapped councils here.

Under the model, each council would submit to the State Government a 10-year infrastructure plan outlining projects they had difficulty funding now.

The Government would be asked to consider projected rate increases over that 10-year-period so the program could be delivered.

“This is very similar to the city facilities program we (Coffs Harbour City Council) had in place,” Cr Rhoades said.

Cr Rhoades said the council was travelling ‘okay’ financially.



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