Simply no way to pay for plan

On 20/09/2019 by admin

Northern Grampians Cr Wayne Rice believes the shires roads will suffer if council doesn’t receive a fair share of the taxation dollar, or adequate government funding to maintain roads. NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council has identified $74-million in capital works projects desperately needed in the community, but admits it has no way to fund the plan.
Nanjing Night Net

On Monday, councildiscussed its$4.3-million2016-17roads and bridges capital works program, andidentified unfunded projects worth $74-million.

Council’sroad allocation decreased by $1.5-million from the draft budget after the federal government cut backits Roads to Recovery money.

A report to council identified a significant shortfall in finances, with council indicating it currently budget $3 to $4-million a year on capital works, but wouldneed to spend close to $9-million in future to maintain current service standards.

Cr Wayne Rice said the predicted need was a massive issue of concern for councillors.

“We’re falling behind in infrastructure all the time,” he said.

Cr Rice said council and ratepayers were being hurt by thefreezing ofFinancial AssistanceGrants, indexation, rate capping and council’stoo small percentage of the taxation dollar.

“We’renot at all happy with the government. This is unfair on all of us,” he said.

“We’re generally concerned about the roads and safety.

“We look at the hierarchy of roads and look at those we can downgrade where we can, and even closed a few not so important roads.

“Wecan’t keep up.It’s unfair on ratepayers to keep doing it.”

Cr Rice said the longer infrastructure was neglected, the more it would cost.

“It’s a false economy,to just say we just cut back on spending – a dollar only goes so far,” he said

“NSWhashad ratecapping for years and look at their roads.They’reabsolutely shocking.If roads fall to that level it’ll takemany, many years to catch up –if you evercan.”

Cr Rice said the issue was dividingcouncil from the community.

“It’s the sort of thing that is used when people are making a point to say where’s the value for money from their rates,” he said.

“The dollars are getting less and needing to stretch further.”

Cr Rice said theyear had been particularly hard because it was a property valuation year.

He said residents expected rates to be steady because of the rate cap, only to findthey hadincreased along with their property’s value.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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