Shire of Plantagenet 3pc rate rise ‘right mix’ for projects

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet Administration Building.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet Administration Building. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Shire of Plantagenet council has endorsed a 3 per cent rate increase in the 2021-22 budget after a freeze on rates in the previous financial year because of COVID-19.

The council approved the budget on Tuesday last week, featuring a $25.7 million spending program, operating expenditure of $15.5m and capital expenditure of $10.2m.

The minimum rate is set to increase to $925, with “minor” increases to rubbish collection charges and waste rates.

Shire chief executive Cameron Woods said based on the Shire’s 10-year financial plan, the local government would have been looking at adopting a 2.5 per cent rates increase year on year.

“The fact that we had a freeze last year and haven’t gone to 5 per cent this year as a catch-up, we are being quite prudent,” he said.

“We think 3 per cent is the right mix for our council to make sure that we get our projects done, particularly our roads.

“I don’t think it is cost-prohibitive to anybody given that the WA economy is going quite well, particularly agriculture commodity prices, and there is almost full employment.”

An officer’s report said the budget maintained a focus on roads as well as on renewing and developing new assets.

“Major projects include a redevelopment of Kendenup Hall toilets at around $150,000, renewal of the playground at Narrikup Hall at $41,000 and a new staff canteen and ablutions block at the Mt Barker Saleyards costing over $200,000,” it reads.

“The council will also undertake a larger than normal roadworks program totalling $3.8m, due in part to successful applications for road grant funding.

“The Mount Barker Memorial Swimming Pool redevelopment will continue, at a cost of $1.67m, as will the upgrade of the public toilets at Frost Park.

“The capital roadworks (new projects) totalling over $3.7m are proposed, with over $1.62m being directly funded from State and Federal sources.”

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