POOR COUNCIL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT BITES HAWKESBURY RATEPAYERS

The Member for Hawkesbury, Dominic Perrottet has slammed Hawkesbury City Council for hopeless financial management, after news residents will be slugged an extra 9.5 per cent per year in rates.

Mr Perrottet said it was disappointing the council now had its hand deeper in the pockets of ratepayers. “IPART originally pegged rates at 2.3 percent for 2018/19, which is in line with the CPI,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Now you have Council increasing rates by 9.5 percent – that’s not a nibble around the edges, that’s a big bite.” Last November the Council applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to increase local council rates by 31.3 per cent over three years from 1 July 2018.

IPART approved Hawkesbury City Council’s application in May. Mr Perrottet condemned the actions of the Council, saying he was shocked that Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett thought it was good news for the community.

“Hawkesbury City Council fought the council amalgamation process, arguing they were financially fit,” Mr Perrottet said. “Now, at the first opportunity, they’ve fought to take more than $100 a year on average out of the back pockets of residents.

“The Council should be looking to drive efficiencies rather that increase taxes. The NSW Government is leading by example. We have delivered $3.5 billion in tax cuts in the last two year alone.”

The four Liberal members of Hawkesbury City Council were the only Councillors to vote against the rate increase.

Mr Perrottet also called on residents to write to the council to express their opposition.

“Taxes only increase when governments don’t use money well,” Mr Perrottet said. “Given Council raises more than $50 million in rates and charges I would hope they are going through their spending very closely to keep costs under control. “I want to see the Council working for the people of Hawkesbury and not the other way around.”