Rates anger hits council



JUDE Bell wants more bang for her ratepayer buck.

The Elliott Heads resident has been slugged with a 25% general rate hike from Burnett Shire Council and said she wanted to see a "delivery of goods to the sleepy hollow''.

"If they are going to keep these rates, they have to deliver the goods,'' Mrs Bell said.

She even went so far as to say members of the Elliott Heads Ratepayers and Residents Association may consider seceding from Burnett Shire Council to Bundaberg City Council.

Mayor Ray Duffy said this year the rate in the dollar (differential) amount was 0.3592 cents compared to 1.347 cents last year for river or oceanfront properties, which compared favourably to the rate in the dollar amount of the same Bundaberg category.

"People are far better off living here,'' Cr Duffy said.

"We have done the comparisons and for the same category in Bundaberg they would be paying up to 72% more.''

Cr Duffy said many people who owned non-waterfront properties in the shire, including some at Elliott Heads and Bargara, would have been pleased to see a reduction on this year's rate notice.

Bathurst Street resident Margaret Phillips has a handful of old rates notices, but it is the 2005 copy she is most angered about.

Since 2002, Mrs Phillips' general rates have increased from $457.92 to $722 - a whopping 57% increase in three years.

Mrs Phillips fears Burnett Shire Council's differential rating was "hardly working''.

"There has to be another way for council to do it (rates) and we need them to do it,' Mrs Phillips said.

But Cr Duffy said the council was doing the best it could to look after ratepayers.

"We are trying our best to be cost effective - we need to generate growth, but still keep things affordable,'' he said.



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