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RESIDENTS REFERENCE GROUP

(Cairns Regional Council)

Formerly: CAIRNS RESIDENTS REFERENCE GROUP (RATES)

 

COUNCIL RATES ISSUES

 

          INDEX

 

      COUNCIL - SUBMISSIONS

CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL - RATES

RRGR - THE ROLE

INDEPENDENT RATES RELIEF TRIBUNAL

      MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE

QUESTIONS OF CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

       STATE GOVERNMENT LAND TAX

THE ROLES: MAYOR and COUNCILLORS

 

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THE ROLE - RESIDENTS REFERENCE GROUP - RATES

PURPOSE: 

The purpose of the Residents Reference Group - Rates (RRGR) is to provide input into the Cairns Regional Council regarding preferred options for the general rating structure for all resident and non-resident ratepayers. 

AIM: 

The aim was to set up a group that will provide a balanced view of the expectations of ratepayers across the Cairns Regional Council areas. 

OBJECTIVE: 

The objective of the Residents Reference Group - Rates (RRGR) is to review the current general rating structure and to suggest an alternative general rating structure that is fair and equitable to all ratepayers of the Cairns Regional Council areas.

 

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RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

As a matter of general principle the Cairns Regional Council should offer its community a reasonable range of services delivered in an efficient, flexible, equitable and responsive way. 

An analysis of the following factors is useful: 

Facilities and services offered and their importance

Further facilities and services needed

Existing levels of service

Improving levels of service

In terms of facilities and services, it is appropriate to examine the facilities and services Council offers and why are these important (e.g. planning/regulatory services, roads, bridges, cycle/pedestrian ways, community transport, children’s and youth services, aged services, health promotion, cultural and library services). 

For further facilities and services needed, it is useful to examine what facilities and services are not currently offered but for which there is community demand. 

For existing levels of service, it is important for Council to acknowledge the community's rating of existing levels of service and respond accordingly.

 

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QUESTIONS OF THE CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL

  1. The Local Government Act of 1993 clearly states that rates must be equitable. Why did CRC decide not to abide by this rule in that…

a)     Council rates must be equitable and based on the cost of providing services? 

  1. The President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has clearly stated, in an LGAQ media release, that there is no connection between land values and council rates. Yet CRC chooses to use this as the reason for imposing excessive rates?
  1. Why should one household pay ten (10) times more for the same services as some others?
  1. The CRC Mission Statement boasts “an open and accountable partnership with the Cairns community”. Why have they refused to formally discuss the matter with ratepayers’ groups?
  1. The CRC Mission Statement boasts that it will, “Promote Ratings Equity”. Is the CRC Mission Statement just an exercise in creative writing?
  1. How do you respond to the assertion that CRC is charging the highest rates in Queensland to facilitate it’s own financial mismanagement?
  1. Can you explain why CRC considers Council rates to be a 'Wealth Tax'?
  1. The LGAQ provided a three-day training workshop in Townsville to assist councils to understand and use special rating tools designed to ensure equity. The former CCC sent three delegates to this seminar but now states that suggested rating tools are both unnecessary and inequitable. Please explain… 

a)     Why the resulting rate inequity shows theses tools are very necessary? 

b)     Why do you feel the tools designed to provide “equity” are inequitable? 

c)      Given that other councils in Queensland, with identical circumstances, used these suggested rating tools and were able to come up with equitable rates, why do you think you were unable to?

 

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Selwyn Johnston


INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATIVES' ADVOCATE

QUEENSLAND

 

 

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SELWYN JOHNSTON

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870 Australia