Rates rise reflects ‘tough times’

Emily SharpSound Telegraph

The City of Kwinana passed its 2017/2018 budget at last week’s special council meeting, increasing rates by a modest 3 per cent, equating to 81¢ a week.

The budget focuses on meeting the community’s vision for Kwinana while managing the needs of a community recently named in the 2016 Census as the second-fastest growing area in WA.

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the budget was based on genuine community feedback.

“It is tough times at the moment — it is about trying to evenly share the rate rise through the community,” she said.

“What we’ve done is looked at what the community wanted and how we can provide it without a huge increase. We’ve reduced significantly the rubbish charges and the environmental levy so whilst we say it’s 3 per cent, you might find that when you look at the bottom line that it is either the same as last year’s rate or slightly reduced because of those other factors.”

The new budget aims to address the changing needs and aspirations of Kwinana identified in the 10-year Strategic Community Plan, which was also adopted by the council last week.

“Residents told us safety should be one of our top priorities, so this year we’re investing $2.4 million in community safety, including our 24/7 City Assist service, increased CCTV, education initiatives and addressing illegal dumping,” Ms Adams said.

“The community want Kwinana to remain a ‘city of trees’, which we will achieve through our $270,000 Bushcare Program and $250,000 investment in a new street tree program, increasing canopy coverage in our suburbs.

“Upgrades to sporting facilities were also high on the list, with improvements to Kwinana netball courts, tennis courts, bowling club, Medina Oval, Wellard Pavilion and Bertram Oval to commence this year.”

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