Rates in Melville are going up six per cent. National inflation is under three per cent.
Six cost-saving measures that would have kept the rise to five per cent were voted down by mayor Russell Aubrey and most councillors Wednesday night:
• Cr Susanne Taylor-Rees’ proposed cancelling of a $160,000 car park at Durdham Crescent;
• Cr Effie Nicholson’s plan to cut public art spending from $120,000 to $60,000;
• Cr Nicholson’s proposition to save $25,000 by not illuminating an artwork at the corner of Murdoch Drive and Leach Highway;
• Cr Nicholson’s plan to scrap $97,000 on “bin surrounds”, (fancy structures that go around bins).
The motions won support only from Crs Rob Willis and June Barton (Cr Nick Pazolli was not there as it may have breached a violence restraining order the mayor has taken against him because Cr Pazolli had yelled at him).
Cr Nicholson also wanted to divert $1 million of federal grant money destined for the land and property reserve, therefore earmarked to buy property, instead wanting to put it in the general pool of cash to pay for operating expenses. She estimates this would have knocked another two per cent off the rates increase.
Council media minder Joanna Arbel says the six per cent rise means “an average residential ratepayer can expect to see an increase of about $1.27 a week to their general rates”.
by DAVID BELL