'UNJUSTIFIABLE COUNCIL RATE INCREASES...'

Submitted by Editor on Sun, 28/08/2005 - 22:52

Quote: The recent Cairns City Council rates increases has come as a double whammy to hundreds of Far North Queensland aged pensioners, and thousands more across Queensland, who are only just surviving on their meagrely fixed incomes. Unquote

NEWS RELEASE
Selwyn Johnston
INDEPENDENT
LEICHHARDT - 2007
(Far North Queensland)
-Australia-

also

RATES - Update... Sunday 28 August 2005
Quote: Representatives of the Cairns Residents Reference Group (Rates) - CRRGR met with four (4) Independent Cairns City Councillors on Thursday 25 August 2005, to outline its objective of achieving a rating formula that is fair and equitable to all residents and ratepayers of the Cairns City Council region. Unquote

************
25 Aug 2005

Selwyn Johnston
ind@gil.com.au
To: Queensland Independent Network
ind@gil.com.au
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25 August 2005
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UNJUSTIFIABLE COUNCIL RATE INCREASES

The recent Cairns City Council rates increases has come as a double whammy to hundreds of Far North Queensland aged pensioners, and thousands more across Queensland, who are only just surviving on their meagrely fixed incomes.

The Queensland Government’s 2005 ‘unimproved property valuations’ has taken many senior Queenslanders over the threshold of maximum permissible assets thus making them ineligible for a pension and causing many others to lose their pensions completely.

Queenslanders on a single aged pension are allowed assets of $317,750 while a married couple is allowed assets of $490,000. These amounts included their family home and the land it sits on.

Cairns City Council is blaming the Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines 2005 land valuations, which has increased by up to 300%, for their outrageous and unjustifiable Council rate increases

Self-funded retirees, the aged and infirm on fixed-incomes, and young families, particularly those living in beach areas along the coastal strip, are being slammed with rate increases up to 162%, which means a Council rate hike of over $6,000 per year equates to over $200 per week in Council fees just to live in their own homes.

Our senior citizens deserve better from uncaring Governments at all levels, who idly sit by while fellow Australians, some who have fought and survived wars and other conflicts, and are now unable to receive their aged pensions simply because a Government bureaucrat increases land valuations to facilitate foreign borrowings.

Shame on the Cairns City Council, shame on the Queensland Government and shame on the Federal Government!

Respectfully

Selwyn Johnston

RATES - Update... Sunday 28 August 2005
Quote: Representatives of the Cairns Residents Reference Group (Rates) - CRRGR met with four (4) Independent Cairns City Councillors on Thursday 25 August 2005, to outline its objective of achieving a rating formula that is fair and equitable to all residents and ratepayers of the Cairns City Council region. Unquote

28 Aug 2005

Selwyn Johnston
ind@gil.com.au

"Cairns Residents Reference Group (Rates)"
ind@gil.com.au

CAIRNS RESIDENTS REFERENCE GROUP (RATES)

(Far North Queensland)

NEWS RELEASE

Representatives of the Cairns Residents Reference Group (Rates) - CRRGR met with four (4) Independent Cairns City Councillors on Thursday 25 August 2005, to outline its objective of achieving a rating formula that is fair and equitable to all residents and ratepayers of the Cairns City Council region.

Councillors listened intently as Reta Thomason (Gordonvale) explained the inequities for long-term property owners who, in some cases had purchased their retirement homes up to fifty (50) years ago, now find themselves unable to afford the unprecedented and unjustifiable 2005/06 rates hike.

John Taylor (Holloways Beach) highlighted to Councillors the obvious discrepancies between the Local Government Act 1993 (Financial Standards) and those applied by the CCC, which was generally accepted by attending Councillors.

John Babet (Kewarra Beach) demonstrated the clear anomalies of the ‘Future Cairns’ 5-year plan (2004/09) , while advocating a 3% budgeted rates/utility increase, these actually increased by $28.22 million over the 2003/06 period being an actual increase of 12%!

Operating expenditure for the same period increased by $31 million!

I went to some pains to advise Councillors that it was not the intention of the CRRGR to be a confrontational organisation, but rather a lobby group to act as a sounding board or buffer between residents/ratepayers and the CCC.

I believe that this meeting was a positive step forward as the four (4) Independent Councillors advised us that the Cairns and Mulgrave Councils had operated under a ‘differential rating system’ before and there was no reason why a return to this formula couldn’t be achieved.

The general attitude of the meeting was for continued dialogue between the CRRGR and attending Councillors, with possible similar informal meetings taking place leading up to February/March 2006 when the (Unity Team) Mayor indicated that he would discuss future rating strategies with community members.

It must be noted that an apology was received from Councillor Margaret Cochrane (Unity Team) and, Councillor Kathy Plath (Unity Team) was in attendance.

It should also be noted that as the CRRGR representatives were leaving the meeting room, Councillor Deidre Ford (Unity Team) who did not participate in the meeting but who just appeared at its conclusion, embarked on an inaccurate, but nevertheless vile and contemptuous diatribe resulting from her admittedly searching confidential Council records relative to myself.

I for one, eagerly await the coming of Saturday, 31 March 2008 to cast the ultimate protest.

Respectfully

Selwyn Johnston

Spokesperson

Selwyn Johnston
Independent Candidate
LEICHHARDT - 2007

Contact Details:

WebSite: http://www.johnston-independent.com/

Telephone: +61 07 4056 6057
Facsimile: +61 07 4056 6058
Mobile: 0418 243 652
E-mail: ind@gil.com.au
Postal Address: PO Box 1919 Cairns FNQ 4870

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