Rates hike warning

RESIDENTS face being slugged a 3.5 per cent rates rise if Bayswater council can’t recoup the $1.2 million it spent on the Barnett government’s aborted mergers process, a local councillor warns.

“There is a big hole in the budget now,” Cr Mike Anderton says.

“Pensioners will not be able to afford another three per cent plus on their rates.”

The council voted to spend up to $2000 on lawyers to see if it has a case in pursuing the state government for costs.

Cr Mike Sabatino says two grand won’t go far and “lawyers always tell you you have a good case”.

Mayor Sylvan Albert says Morley Liberal MP Ian Britza has spoken to WA local government minister Tony Simpson on behalf of the city. • 

“Legal action is a last resort,” the former Liberal state candidate for Maylands told councillors.

“We should wait and see how we progress with the lobbying options first. We have spoke to several MPs.”

WALGA has offered to coordinate a legal action for several councils, but Cr Barry McKenna says Bayswater should go it alone.

“We were the only council that went along with the mergers,” he says.

“We can’t be accused of rolling over to the state government without asking questions.

“Otherwise, they might only compensate those governments who criticised them and made a political point.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

Collegium Symphonic 20x3

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