Our View (4-7-2017): Not taking sides

THERE has been significant interest in forming a ratepayers’ association to hold the District Council of the Copper Coast to account in a more organised and formal manner.

Residents packed Moonta Football Club to discuss the association and plenty paid for membership to the eventual association upfront before leaving.

Rate rise concerns headlined the meeting although many attendees were already unhappy with council for various reasons.

The formation of an independent group could be a good thing, provided it acts as a watchdog and lobbies on behalf of the community in a fair and unbiased manner.

Yet it was concerning numerous key players asked the YP Country Times to ensure it would print the truth about Sunday’s meeting. I strongly disagree with the insinuation this paper has spread any untruths favouring DCCC, or any of our local councils. We have not and will not take sides.

And we will certainly do our best to fact check information provided, whether it comes from council, this ratepayers’ association, or anybody else.

In the interest of the truth, here is why rates have been going up by five per cent each year. You can make up your own mind about whether the rises are justified.

At the turn of the decade, DCCC thought it was in a good position financially, making enough money to keep its infrastructure and services going. So why were the roads awful? Why were there so many other issues?

Council reassessed how much it would take to actually maintain everything and the result wasn’t pretty. The community was being significantly underfunded. Since then DCCC has put rates up by five per cent each year and it wants to do the same again this time around, with the aim of being at a true breakeven position by 2020. Next year, who knows if the rate rise will be five per cent again? After the current outcry I’d doubt it, but we will wait and see.

Until then, we will print both sides of this story with fairness and accuracy.


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