This year’s rates bills have been locked in for Kwinana residents, with the city’s “conservative” annual budget translating into a $63 average increase for locals. The City of Kwinana was among a group of local authorities to admit it could not accommodate a higher-than-expected street lighting bill from Western Power, which forced its council to further hike its rates impost on residents at the final stage. Kwinana had settled on an average 3.95 per cent rate increase, which was considered low enough to acknowledge the toll of the increased cost of living on the community. Mayor Carol Adams said Western Power’s street light tariff, which cost the city $105,000 more than it had allocated through its budget drafting process, forced the council to instead impose a 4.2 per cent average rise. She said the city had tried to take a conservative approach to its budget preparations but inflation and the rising cost of living was being felt by everyone, including local governments. “With a number of the City’s major contracts subject to these increases, it has all contributed to the financial pressures councils are facing,” she said. “There has also been a 5 per cent increase to the State Government’s emergency services levy that council collects on its behalf and a 7.5 per cent increase to street lighting tariffs set by Western Power. “This budget includes some much-sought after community projects, including enhancements to the CCTV network, urban tree planting program, Kwinana Loop Trail improvements, Wellard West Community Centre Clubrooms, Gilmore Avenue shared path construction, new toilets at Challenger Beach and a youth pump track in Wandi.” The city will spend close to $5m on roads, $1.7m upgrading playgrounds and parks and $500,000 on community events in the next 12 months.