Wast split shelved

VINCENT council has pegged a three per cent rate increase for this year, but held off hiving off its waste fees.

Right now the fees are bundled into the rates, but if they are separated the council could look at offering residents the choice of a smaller, cheaper bin.

But most councillors decided until the small bin incentive was ready to go it wasn’t worth splitting the fees.

Newish councillor Dan Loden says low-waste households subsidise high-waste households,” because they’re charged the same regardless of whether they’ve got a small bag or a bin full of nappies.

Councillor Emma Cole supports the plan, but said it sent a “cleaner and easier message” to ratepayers to have the system ready to go before introducing the fee.

There were concerns the new system could leave some pensioners out of pocket, as a separate garbage fee wouldn’t qualify for a state-provided rates subsidy.

Mayor John Carey had an amendment ready to cover that gap, with a once-off $250,000 windfall the council would pull in from the new system being used to compensate pensioners, but in the end he supported putting the whole thing on ice.

They vote was 6/2 with just councillors Dan Loden and Josh Topelberg keen to go ahead with the split system.

The new rates will be advertised for 21 days.

by DAVID BELL

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