Newly elected mayor Jim Simmons in his council office.
Newly elected mayor Jim Simmons in his council office. Adam Hourigan

Council votes down proposed rates application

UPDATE 3.30PM: CLARENCE Valley Mayor Jim Simmons has used his casting vote to vote against the council submitting a Fit for the Future Improvement proposal that includes a 9% special rate variation application.

The Mayor made his decision because a councillor who has been an opponent of an SRV, Greg Clancy was not able to attend today's meeting.

"There's no point in me voting for it, when it would just be overturned in December," Cr Simmons said.

Earlier Cr Andrew Baker made a wide ranging, nine-point foreshadowed motion outlining alternative ways to achieve an $18 million cost saving necessary.

The gallery in the Maclean council chambers is filled with council staff who have taken a keen interest in the debate.

The staff report to the council said council would have to shed 63 staff over nine years to make the savings required.

Councillors are debating Cr Baker's forshadowed motion and an amendment from Cr Karen Toms.

1.30PM: A decision to peg the rate pegging limit for councils to 1.5% in 2017-18 could not have come at a more difficult time for local councillors.

This afternoon the Clarence Valley Council has called an extraordinary meeting seeking an endorsement for its Fit for the Future Reassessment Proposal, which includes a request to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a special rate variation of 9%.

The council arrived at the 9% figure by adding the 6.5% SRV it received for 2016-17 to an estimated rate peg of 2.5%.

The IPART decision announced yesterday nominally leaves the council a full percentage point short of its target.

The council is also operating on a short time schedule as the general manager must submit the council's plan to the Office of Local Government today.

The meeting will be held from 2pm today in the Maclean council chambers.



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