Better value for ratepayers

Photo of Research shops.

The shopping strip in Research has been neglected for too long.
Photo of Ben Ramcharan

Better Value for Ratepayers

Due to a number of factors, Nillumbik has the highest rates of any interface Council in Victoria. We pay these rates so Council can provide services to the community and it is Council’s responsibility to manage their finances properly so you can get the best possible value out of your rates.

Council must use rates to do the things that the community needs.

Rates fund a huge number of essential services in our community including maintenance of roads, drainage, rubbish collection, protection of the environment, community facilities such as parks and libraries, beautification of our neighbourhoods and much more. It is up to Council to spend your rates responsibly to bring good value to your community in a way that no one else will.

Ratepayer Money Wasted

I have been shocked to see how much money the current council has wasted. In the last four years, we’ve seen some shocking wastes of money, including:

  • $3.2 million spent on redundancy packages after staggering layoffs of long-term Council staff.
  • $345,000 spent on a community consultation process for the new Green Wedge Management Plan, only to ignore almost all of the community’s input. A cheaper, less complex process would have been easier to participate in and more representative.
  • $147,000 spent on needlessly creating a new Nillumbik logo and erecting signs with the new logo.
  • $150,000 spent on Christmas decorations for Hurstbridge, Diamond Creek and Eltham.

Ratepayers deserve better. Your rates should be going towards essential services and infrastructure to make your community a better place to be but instead, they have been wasted on pet projects and expensive community consultations that have been ignored.

A short-term vision means rates will skyrocket in the long-term.

This year, Council has decided to take out a $3.3million loan instead of raising rates – a clear bid to win cheap votes before the election. While some loans can be beneficial, this loan is completely unnecessary. It may save ratepayers money in the short-term but in the long-term, it means rates will skyrocket. That will not be going back into the community; it will be wasted on paying interest on a short-sighted loan. This is not responsible management of ratepayers’ money.

What Should Council Do?

We pay our rates. We deserve good value from them. To ensure this, Council needs to increase revenue by working with State and Federal Governments to win grants and relieve the burden on ratepayers. As a councillor, I will work hard, right from the beginning of the Council term, to put Nillumbik in a strong position to argue for Government funding to supplement your rates.

I will work hard from the beginning of the Council term to put Nillumbik in a strong position to advocate for Government funding to supplement your rates.

I will also ensure that Council conducts thorough community consultation to find out which projects would be most beneficial to the community so money can be spent well and not wasted. I already know the community is keen for projects which will:

  • Improve drainage and grading to avoid flooding
  • Improve road safety for people and wildlife, especially in North Warrandyte, Kangaroo Ground and St Andrews
  • Establish new walking paths to make our home safer and more walkable
  • Improve accessibility around the shire
  • Revitalise shopping precincts such as Research Shops
  • Improve parking in busy areas
  • Protect and enhance our Green Wedge
  • Create more family-friendly facilities such as playgrounds and BMX tracks
  • Build more road crossings

These projects, and others, will create the services and infrastructure that the community needs. This is how you create better value for ratepayers