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Media Release
Lithgow City Council

10 July 2009

Council General Rate Increase

The Minister for Local Government announces a special variation to the General Rates for the Lithgow Local Government Area of 4.77%.

Lithgow City Council had made application for a 5% special variation to its general purpose rates for the 2009/10 year however the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Barbara Perry, permitted the 4.77% increase.

The Mayor of Lithgow City Council, Councillor Castle, today said “while no one likes paying more in rates the increase is necessary to improve our local roads in particular and our public building infrastructure.”

“These badly needed additional funds will be injected into specific road and building projects across our local government area. Road projects will include improvements to:”

  • Sodwalls Tarana Road
  • Rydal Hampton Road
  • Cox’s River Road
  • Magpie Hollow Road
  • Hartley Road
  • Mid Hartley Road
  • Glen Davis Road
  • The resealing of roads in general
  • Lithgow and Portland lanes

“While some our building projects will include:”

  • Portland’s Crystal Theatre
  • Lake Wallace Toilets
  • Wallerawang Memorial Hall
  • Civic Ballroom
  • Lithgow Swimming Pool amenities
  • Family Historical Society
  • Red Cross Hall

“The special variation will be an extra impost of about $27 annually to the average residential ratepayer or a little over 50 cents per week.” said Mayor Castle.

“It is disappointing that there are people within the community that are scaremongering on this issue saying that the increase will be much higher. I have seen a flyer that states that there will be an increase of 8.27% every year for the next ten years or even 12% each year. This is simply not so. Council will not be increasing rates by 12% per annum for 10years. It is not increasing rates this year by 12%. Any future increases will be limited to what the Minister approves.”

“These exaggerated statements are causing fear within the community and those irresponsible people making the statements should get their facts right.”

“What is being further exaggerated are statements that savings could be made from privatising the Lithgow Visitors Information Centre. It would be a fallacy to say that there would be a saving of $350,000 by contracting out this facility. If this was successful we would only see the currently growing tourism industry in Lithgow go backwards.”

“During the consultation process on Council’s Management Plan, which included the proposed special variation of 5%, Council received very significant support, with virtually unanimous support from those people who took the time to attend one of the many community meetings and find out the true story. Unfortunately, the person who was responsible for the flyer never attended a single community meeting about the budget and in fact was not present at Council’s final budget session.”

“I understand that there will be pain for those paying the additional rates in the coming year however the increase is necessary in order to maintain and provide services.” concluded Mayor Castle.

 

Contact:

Mayor Neville Castle
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259