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Council gallery fills for rates debate

Councillor Jeremy Challacombe voted in favoured of the revised rates  model.
Councillor Jeremy Challacombe voted in favoured of the revised rates model.

UPDATE:

AFTER a marathon two and a half hour debate, in front of a packed gallery the council has brought an end to the great rates debate.

A last ditch effort at compromise was made for farmers and Maclean residents and business owners.

Councillors Williamson, Howe, Challacombe and Kingsley voted in favour of a six percent increase on land rates in Maclean for 2013/14.

The council did not adopt a rating structure for the next four years as Cr Baker lead motion against defining the rating policy so far into the future.

"I put to this meeting that the motion while ever it attempts to set the rate beyond this year is unlawful," Cr Baker said.

And while the legality remained a point of division the councillors agreed with sentiment and limited the changes to this financial year.

Farmers rates were set to increase by 4.8%, but will instead increase by 3.4% and the difference will be borne by Grafton and South Grafton businesses.

For full coverage of tonight's council meeting including a ferocious debate see tomorrow's Daily examiner.

EXTRA seats have had to be pulled into the Maclean Chambers as the gallery prepares to see the council bring an end to the great rates debate.

Councillors Sue Hughes and Margaret McKenna are both absent and have sent their apologies.

If all the councillors in the room vote the way they have previously then the rates restructure will be passed four votes to three.

Topics:  budget 2013-2014, clarence valley council



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