Petition lodged to reverse crippling 2% rate rise
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson has lodged a petition with the Townsville City Council to reverse yesterday’s decision to raise the general rate by 2%.
Townsville ratepayers, who are already suffering from the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, were caught off-guard by the announcement.
Mr Thompson said it was an extra expense that local residents shouldn’t have to fork out for.
“This is an absolute kick in the guts. I’ve been inundated with messages and emails from locals asking me to do something about this rate hike,” he said.
“Make no mistake, Council always had every intention of raising rates – this is nothing to do with COVID-19.
“The Council’s own press release says that its ‘budget position remains strong’. If that’s the case, then why the need to jack up rates by an increase much more than inflation?
“It’s just another example of our Council’s failure to manage ratepayers’ funds. Even when it’s given a grant – like in the case of the federal funding for the Castle Hill café – it can’t come up with a project that fits the almost $2 million allocation.”
Mr Thompson said he hoped the petition would not fall on deaf ears.
“People have lost their jobs and business owners have been left devastated by the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. Some have struggled to put food on the table,” he said.
“This petition will send a loud and clear message to the Mayor and Councillors that locals expect them to do better.”
The petition will be available soon at https://epetitions.townsville.qld.gov.au/ subject to its approval.