Geraldton rates competitive against regional cities

Published: Friday, 22 June 2018 at 4:41:33 PM

The City of Greater Geraldton stacks up very competitively when it comes to comparing the rates of regional cities in WA and Local Governments in the Midwest.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was reassuring to see the comparison between Geraldton and many other places as it reaffirms rates are reasonable.

“Our rates combined with our fees and charges total per capita sits around $1,722 which is below Karratha, Port Hedland, Esperance, Kalgoorlie and Broome and sits marginally above Bunbury and Albany,” he said.

“This proves that our rates are reasonable compared to other regional cities in the state, if not one of the lowest.”

Compared to shires in the Midwest including Northampton, Irwin, Morawa, Mingenew, Three Springs, Carnamah and Coorow, Geraldton came out as one of the lowest on rates plus fees and charges per capita.

Mayor Van Styn also commented that the City had the best result when comparing the population per number of employees amongst both regional cities and shires in the Midwest.

“Data shows that when comparing full time equivalent (FTE) employees to the population, the City employs one FTE per 132 people,” he said.

“This is up against the likes of Esperance who employ one FTE per 52 people.

“We have made a significant reduction in staff numbers since 2015 with further cuts in 2017/18 and it shows ratepayers that their money isn’t being spent on staff wages and staff costs whereas other places rates may be inflated due to employee numbers.”

This year’s proposed rates will rise overall by 2.3%, with the minimum rate frozen at $1,010. The proposed Budget will also see 41% of residential ratepayers pay $0 or less in rates than last year with 67% of non-residential properties experiencing the same.

“The City’s long term financial planning has focussed over recent years on the principle that rate increases should be consistent and adjust gradually to avoid a concerned and startled community,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“Rates are always a contentious issue but when we compare to other places in WA, we really have fair and realistic rates in place.

“This demonstrates the Council’s commitment to managing its operations in a way that avoids unsustainable rate increase for ratepayers and it ensures that resourcing capabilities are sustainably maintained and delivered to the community in a fiscal and responsible manner.”

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