Eastern Eyre councils ask for rate capping

Two Eastern Eyre Peninsula councils are opposing the state government’s legislation to introduce rate capping on the grounds that there are too many uncertainties.

Several councils across South Australia, including on Eyre Peninsula, have argued against the legislation, saying it would affect council services and had caused problems for councils in New South Wales and Victoria where it was in place.

Cleve District Council mayor Bryan Trigg said the council was against this legislation and wished to learn more about how it would work.

“Yes we are (against it) for the very reason that we have not been given enough information on how it will work and we believe it will cost us in the long run,” he said.

“If we’ve been given proper details on how it’s supposed to work we may even agree with it, so far all we’ve been shown is that it will be a backwards step.”

Mr Trigg said the council’s rates had gone up 2.3 per cent this year, which was below the consumer price index.

Kimba council is also against the legislation and is also open about receiving more information and working with the government.

Mayor Dean Johnson said it looked like the legislation would hit rural councils “more harshly” than metro councils.

“We just don’t see the case for efficiency, there are better ways to keep rates low than putting a cap on it,” he said.

However Mr Johnson said the council was willing to work with the government if the legislation was passed.

Franklin Harbour District Council mayor Robert Starr said the council did not think there would be any effect.

“It won’t make hardly any difference to us,” he said.

“Our stance is we don’t think it will affect us.”

The rate capping legislation may not be introduced as Labor, Greens and SA Best MPs in the upper house of state parliament announced on August 30 they would oppose it.

The members have proposed a series of alternative reforms in its place, including the introduction of performance benchmarks.