Responding to a recent Herald Sun news article (see further down), Ratepayers Victoria President Jack Davis has hit back at claims by the Australian Services Union ,State Secretary Richard Duffy,that the propose plan by the State Government to cap council rates to the CPI , will threaten jobs.
Mr. Davis states that this capping would not threaten jobs and it is long overdue that councils fine tune their own operations . Mr. Davis would like to point out, especially to all ratepayers of Victoria, that at present approx 60% of council revenue is used for administration purposes. This does not include ratepayers money that is paid to contractors .
Mr. Davis highlighted there is little or no real impact accountability at any council in Victoria. In June 2014, Ratepayers Victoria Incorporated wrote to the previous Local Government Minister to request that he put an independent administrator in all councils in Victoria to improve efficiency. Mr Davis also added that this appointment would not be made to tell the democratically elected councilor as what to do ,but to ensure that the council is been run in the most effectively democratic and ethical manner in order to ensure ratepayers get a fair and benefit justified outcomes from paying their rates. Efficiency improvements would including closing the gaps where some contractors get paid up to three times more for a contract job than what is paid in the private sector , lesser disputes between ratepayers and their councils over debating rates affordability vs providing irrelevant services. The issues of skyrocketing rate increases cannot sustain – it is starting to break people financially and socially in the community. At present a ratepayer has nowhere to turn. Those who challenge the inequality of skyrocketing rates have to use their own hurt money to fight for justice while Councils use public funds to defend their reasons for increasing rates every so higher each year.
Despite having to power to control all Victorian Councils, the last Local Government Minister did nothing to our request. There is no address of the growing social and financial hardships arising from unaffordable rates.
In Parliament on the 12th Feb 2015, the newly appointed Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins stated it was time to end this council culture of increasing rates at the 8 ,9 or 10 % every year. This trend is forcing pensioners and young families out of their homes ,as the Minister say “ it has to stop”. Every ratepayer is behind Minister Hutchin’s policy on capping rates, because she knows skyrocketing rates cannot sustain and will destroy communities for the benefits of the richer and developers, and those who want to protect their today’s cushy and high paying jobs.
The Herald Sun News Article that RVI responded to:
Union opposes council rate cap, saying it threatens jobs
A MAJOR union that includes Premier Daniel Andrews as a member has warned the State Government’s plan to cap council rates will threaten jobs.
Australian Services Union state secretary Richard Duffy said he feared the policy would lead to councils slashing jobs of lower-paid employees, rather than cutting “fat” such as rising consultancy fees.
“One of the platforms the Premier came in on was on jobs creation,” Mr Duffy said.
“If he thinks that imposing rate caps on councils will create jobs in councils he’s got another think coming.”
Mr Duffy said the ASU had made the Government aware that the plan to cap rates at inflation rates — referred to as CPI — without adequate exemptions “will be a job killer in councils”.
The blunt warning from a major Labor-affiliated union comes on the back of other public sector unions playing hardball over pay rise bids.
The Herald Sun revealed on Thursday that the Health Workers Union was demanding a 20 per cent pay increase over four years.
The ASU attack is also significant given that Mr Andrews is a member of that union.
In Parliament on Thursday, Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said it was time to end the trend of councils increasing rates by “8 per cent, 9 per cent or 10 per cent”.