Hilbert resident Peter Shanavas is hoping people power would prevail in letting the City of Armadale council know that a proposed rates increase of 1.75 per cent is not appropriate.
Having lived in the city since 2014 Mr Shanavas has previously rallied support through petitions against rates increases and said this year’s increase will be exceptionally hard for residents who are already feeling the financial pinch.
“We are paying high rates compared to neighbouring councils which have more facilities for its citizens,” he said.
“This is consecutively the third time we have formally raised a request to the honourable council members to put an end to the back-to-back rate increases.
“Regardless the council had rejected the last two petitions without any due consideration.
“This goes against my understanding of good democratic governance.”
Last year’s petition included about 200 signatures from residents who were against the increase, however the 1.8 per cent increase was enforced with little council discussion or debate, much to the disgust of Mr Shanavas.
He said he is hoping this year’s petition would gather more than 500 signatures in an aim to send a clear message to the city that enough was enough.
“A responsible council should actively seek to create alternative revenue streams to help reduce the rate burden for its citizens,” he said.
“Every dollar council will earn from income sources other than from taxation will reduce the need to raise rates and relieve some pressure on the rate-paying community.
“We will fight for better rates and will never give up until we reach there.”
Mayor Henry Zelones said the proposed rates increase is necessary as the cost of labour, contracts and materials increase each year.
“Council has worked hard to keep the rate increase to 1.75 per cent this year, which is below the forecast increase in local government services,” he said.
“To maintain the city’s financial health and level of service it is necessary to increase the revenues associated with the services including rates, fees and charges.
“We hope there will be a favourable response from the community.”
Anyone who is interested in signing the petition can call Mr Shanavas on 0411 209 089 or email email@example.com