Ratepayers Association's flyer calls for rate rise opposition

Still fighting: Wollondilly residents Lynette Styles and Colin Essex are opposing a rate rise and are volunteering to drop pamphlets off to letterboxes. Picture: Simon Bennett
Still fighting: Wollondilly residents Lynette Styles and Colin Essex are opposing a rate rise and are volunteering to drop pamphlets off to letterboxes. Picture: Simon Bennett

The Wollondilly Ratepayers and Residents Association are calling on residents to voice their objection to the council’s rate rise of 50.72 per cent for the next four years.

People are invited to send a letter or an email, protesting the rate increase, to five authorities - Premier Mike Baird, the minister for local government Paul Toole, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell and Wollondilly Council general manager Luke Johnson.

Association secretary Lynette Styles said 10,000 flyers were printed and a pamphlet deliverer and volunteers would drop them in letterboxes.

‘‘The ratepayers association feel that because the council didn’t provide two-way consultation that this flyer is the only way to get our message across,’’ she said.

The council, Ms Styles said, had applied for three rate rises in recent history and claims ratepayers were not consulted.

She believes the phone survey did not constitute consultation.

‘‘It was one sided consultation and IPART did not consider one of our submissions,’’ Ms Styles said.

Wollondilly Council’s deputy general manager Ally Dench said the council had conducted a proper assessment of the Wollondilly shire to gauge what the community wanted.

Mrs Dench told the Advertiser that the council conducted a statistically robust telephone survey of a random sample of 407 households.

She said 99 per cent of respondents indicated infrastructure was a main concern and 70 per cent agreed with the idea of a special rate variation.

Ms Styles said the flyer and the petition the association had started were to let the community know and oppose the current and any future rate rises.

‘‘We are not going to take it without a fight,’’ she said.

‘‘If the council apply for another rate rise [in the future] then that will give us ammunition.

‘‘If we get nothing in return then it will prove to us that council can’t manage its budget and we will call for amalgamation or privatisation.’’

For more information visit Wollondilly Ratepayers Facebook page.

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