Member for Morwell, Russell Northe has expressed his concern with respect to Council rate increases being experienced by a number of local rate-payers.
Mr Northe said he had been contacted by a number of local residents who had received rate notices in recent weeks that in some cases showed marked increases from the previous year.
“In the current economic environment, it is disturbing to note that rate-payers in some circumstances have been confronted with a nearly 40% increase in their rates payable, despite no investment in capital improvement on their property” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said he had in one example written to the Valuer-General and the Ministers for Local Government and Agriculture on behalf of a local Glengarry farmer in Mr Tim Waite whose Wellington Council rates have increased by a staggering 38% in just 12 months.
“For a farmer in Glengarry to experience such a significant rise in one hit is hard to fathom, particularly given the State Government has set a rate cap of 2.5% and many local Councils have noted they are not increasing rates this year” Mr Northe said.
“There is an expectation that when Government and Councils announce there is a rate freeze, that on a practical level that will be the case, but for Mr Waite and many others this is not reality, which of course creates enormous frustration and angst” Mr Northe continued.
“In the current environment to expect local farmers to cop such a significant whack is just unreasonable and unjust; and somewhere between the State Government, the ValuerGeneral and Councils this issue needs to be resolved” Mr Northe said.
“How can you expect some of our local farmers and other rate-payers to be subject to such vast increases and in the spirit of COVID-19, it appears we are not all in this together” Mr Northe concluded.