Amalgamation is the solution, not a rate rise
In response to the article "At any rate, resident says we've been dudded", (Wollondilly Advertiser, February 18) I would like to say Jacqui Franklin has every right to feel dudded, and so should every ratepayer in Wollondilly shire.
This special rate increase — endorsed by Wollondilly councillors to be approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART ) — will see rates increase by more than 50 per cent over the four-year period.
This will impact on the marginalised, pensioners and large families with mortgages, and see increasing rents.
The council has done this to prove to the state government that they are sustainable and therefore fit for the future.
These councillors, mayor and general manager and assistant general managers, and managers of all the various departments do not appear to be concerned about the impact of this massive rate increase on residents.
I note that the Local Government Review Panel's final report states Wollondilly shire could be subject to boundary adjustments to facilitate sound planning of metropolitan growth.
They also go on to state there may be a case to consider for amalgamation of the shire with neighbouring councils.
But Wollondilly councillors have taken a different view. They are going to flog the ratepayers so as to avoid amalgamation and thereby keep their jobs.
The NSW government's attitude towards local government reform has been spineless, to say the least.
They should strengthen the powers of the Boundaries Commission and act on their recommendations without fear or favour.
Ray Smith, Menangle
Poor country cousins
With just over three weeks to go until the state election, the silence from candidates standing for the seat is deafening.
Sitting MP Jai Rowell is running again but the question needs to be asked. What has he done for Wollondilly in the last four years and what is his platform for the next four years?
As close as he is to Premier Mike Baird, he has failed to use his influence to achieve every funding dollar available to improve standards in Wollondilly.
And yet, the government uses our taxes to spend on medical services, roads and policing in other electorates.
It's a fact that Wollondilly roads are in crisis and small business is suffering.
We need affordable housing, we need a second high school and we don't have our own hospital.
The police station at Picton has closed as a cost-cutting exercise and residents are at the mercy of the Camden and Narellan police for protection.
We can't even get a zebra crossing in the Tahmoor CBD and Bargo desperately needs a new fire shed.
Wollondilly residents are tired of being the poor country cousins relying on our neighbours for services in health, education and policing.
While the system is a two-party preferred system, candidates are more concerned about winning the election than looking at the needs of the electorate.
We demand a bigger share of taxpayers' dollars for better services in Wollondilly, civic improvements, better roads and jobs creation for young and old.
Wollondilly Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc