City of Albany plans 2.95 per cent rate rise

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The City of Albany’s draft 2019-20 budget includes a 2.95 per cent rates rise.
Camera IconThe City of Albany’s draft 2019-20 budget includes a 2.95 per cent rates rise. Credit: Laurie Benson, Albany Advertiser

The City of Albany’s draft budget for the 2019-20 financial year has been released, headlined by a 2.95 per cent rates rise and nearly $7m for roads.

The budget, released Tuesday and totalling $109.5m, included $6.8m the City’s Road Works Program, $1.1m for the Pathway Works Program and $3m for the development of the Centennial Park Western and Central Precinct.

It said $37.5m had been reserved for the development and refurbishment of new and existing facilities, as well as nearly $1m for new bushfire brigade equipment and $240,000 for minor upgrades to the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre.

Under the proposal, Albany mayor Dennis Wellington and the City’s 12 councillors are set to receive modest pay increase.

Mr Wellington’s wage will increase about one per cent from $135,915 to $137,269.

Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks’ wage is set to increase from $53,625 to $54,117.

The remaining councillors will see a similar percentage rise to $31,678 each.

In his message introducing the budget, Mr Wellington said the proposed 2.95 per cent rate rise was in line with the City’s 10-year financial plan “and supports the high level of services, facilities and community projects being maintained for our local ratepayers and residents”.

“The 2019-2020 Council budget positions the City of Albany to be future driven in its vision to become energy self-sufficient, supports our history and cultural identity, develops our arts and culture precinct and maintains our status as a sought after and unique place to work, live and visit,” he said.

The City increased its rates by 2.95 per cent for the 2018-19 financial year, 2.5 per cent for 2017-18 and 3.5 per cent for 2016-17.

Council is set to vote on the draft 2019-20 budget at its July 23 meeting.

Last month, Local Government Minister David Templeman last month urged local governments to think about WA families who were trying to make ends meet.

“I think all local governments need to be very mindful a lot of communities, a lot of families...are tightening their belts with their financial situation and I think there is a big expectation councils will do likewise to reflect that,” Mr Templeman said.

It is understood only two Perth councils have proposed bigger increases to general rates than Albany— namely the City of Rockingham (3.6 per cent) and the Town of Cottesloe (3.5 per cent).

In regional WA, City of Geraldton rates will rise 1.5 per cent, while the Shire of Harvey has adopted a 3.5 per cent rate rise.

Correction: A previous version of this article claimed Mr Wellington’s wage would be $47,516. That was Mr Wellington’s council meeting fee before his mayoral allowance.

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