Sunday, October 22, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Editor September 6, 2017

COUNCIL NOT TRANSPARENT

Dear Editor,

I write regarding ‘changes to the way you pay your rates!’ Is it any wonder council did not receive one submission regarding ‘changes to the way you pay your rates.’ No mention of changes directing ratepayers to the draft budget, a document containing more than 100 pages (talk about a ‘hidden agenda’). How many ratepayers would be looking for changes to payment options or thinking along these lines?

The option for ratepayers to pay in full by February 15 was no longer available! Although the lump sum payment option has now been extended this year it is important people make their views known before the changes are re-introduced next year.

According to rates explained 2017/2018 interest will apply if payments are not met by due date with four instalments or by 10 monthly direct debit Instalments. I have been informed via the minister’s office the notice set-out in Greater Shepparton 2017/2018 ‘Your Rates Explained’ is ‘inconsistent with local government policies!’

Greater Shepparton City Council placed an article under council meeting wrap in the local media on Friday, April 21 under Draft Budget 2017/2018. The draft budget is now available for consultation on council’s website or at councils’ office. Submissions are required by 5pm, May 19, 2017 (still no mention or suggestion of changes to payments directing ratepayers to draft budget).

Draft Council Plan; council endorsed the Draft Council Plan 2017/2021 the council got input from the community through surveys and community focus groups held over the municipality the council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 5:30pm to hear any person wishing to be heard in support of their submission on any proposal contained in the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021.

Once again Greater Shepparton City Council has not been transparent informing ratepayers of changes nor are they communicating clearly with members of the public with their lack of notification around the changes and public consultation. Upon phoning the council, I was informed the changes were showing in the ‘Rating Strategy Policy’ (Page 18) not the draft budget! Yours sincerely,

Julie Reed

Shepparton