O’Brien encourages fairer rates for Gippslanders

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien, along with his colleagues in The Nationals, is continuing to fight for a better deal for locals by ensuring Gippslanders are not paying more than their fair share of rates.

A Parliamentary inquiry into local government funding and services, which The Nationals successfully fought for in the Upper House, has kicked off this week and aims to address inequities in the funding of local councils.

Mr O’Brien said it is important that the government examine the impact that cost shifting from the state and federal governments is having on our local councils, especially on long-suffering ratepayers.

“I don’t believe property rates are the best or most equitable form of revenue raising for local councils and it is time to start looking at alternative models,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Our local governments provide many crucial services to our communities from waste collection and libraries to the repair of local roads, but cost-shifting between levels of government severely impacts their ability to deliver those services.

“It’s getting harder and harder for rural councils to keep up with costs and rural ratepayers are paying more than their city counterparts.

“What we end up with is frustrated ratepayers who are struggling to keep up with rising costs while local governments also struggle to maintain service delivery with cost-of-living increases being felt right across the board.”

“This Inquiry provides an important opportunity to examine what is working well and what can be done better. It must provide constructive advice to government on building a more sustainable future for Victoria’s local councils.

“I encourage both local councils and residents to make submissions to the inquiry.”

The Committee will investigate local government funding and service delivery in Victoria, including:

  • cost shifting from state and federal governments to local council;
  • ability of local governments to meet core service delivery objectives;
  • local government’s revenue structure, as well as whether these structures are sustainable and appropriate; and
  • whether there are alternative models of funding to consider.

Submissions are due by 28 June 2024 and can be made online at https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/localgovernmentfunding.

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