Denmark approves 4pc rates rise

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Denmark Shire Council Administration Centre.
Camera IconDenmark Shire Council Administration Centre. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Shire of Denmark has approved a rates increase of 4 per cent.

The budget, which was passed 7-1 at a special council meeting last week, will see residential ratepayers spend a minimum of $1097 on their yearly rates.

Meanwhile, the mean rural rate is set to rise to $1343.

Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker said longevity was the key focus of the 2019-2020 budget, with $5.9 million dedicated to capital works.

He said $3.5 million of that would be dedicated to road infrastructure projects and $1.48 million to land and buildings projects.

According to the Shire’s asset management plan, about 16 percent of the Shire assets are in poor condition. Total monetary value of these assets is $19.3 million. Cr Rob Whooley, the only councillor to oppose the budget, said he could not support the proposal because he was denied access to budget details.

Cr Whooley said details of staff wages and salary costs were not available to councillors.

“Council access to all budget details should not be viewed, or suggested as, interfering in operational matters, and scrutiny should be encouraged,” he said.

“Ultimately, council is responsible for the budget and its details.”

Cr Jan Lewis said while she supported the 4 per cent rates increase, she would not like to see ratepayers burdened with continuous rate increases year after year.

“Going forward, I hope council will commit to working with officers and the community to find ways and means of rationalising our assets,” she said.

“Improving the condition of those that are deemed impor-tant and planning carefully for any new or upgraded facilities to meet the needs of our growing and changing community and to ensure the economic viability of our town.”

Last year, the Shire of Denmark increased rates by 3 per cent.

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