Council adopts budget

The Shire of Collie council has adopted the 2018/19 annual budget at the latest council meeting last Tuesday night. 

This year’s budget showed a 2.482 per cent increase in rate revenue which was the figure endorsed at the draft budget meeting on July 17.

The budget was finalised with all its alterations before being presented for formal adoption at the latest council meeting.

Shire of Collie president Sarah Stanley said staff tried to keep this year’s rates low and Collie had one of the lowest rates for landowners living in the South West region. 

Cr Stanley said the vast majority of property owners can expect to see an increase of less than $50 compared to last year’s rates.

This year’s rates are also in line with the Corporate Business Plan to keep rate increases within two per cent of inflation. 

Council raised new loans for the 2018/19 financial year to fund an irrigation audit and bore development strategy worth $10,000, to stabilise and repair the Roche Park walls worth $65,000, for an open space strategy worth $20,000 and a transfer station weighbridge modification worth $35,000.

Council also allowed for community groups like the Collie Cardiff RSL, County Women’s Association, North Collie Hall Management Group, Riverview Residences, Collie Pioneer Day Lodge, Collie Italian Club, Energy West Hall and the Red Cross Shop to not have to pay rates.  

Access and Inclusion committee member Nola Green asked at the meeting if council would reconsider including $950 for training for the Access and Inclusion Committee towards the budget. 

She said she was aware of the call for councillors to produce a responsible budget which limits rates but thought the amount was only minor and could be included if they looked at reducing some other area by the same amount. 

A motion to allocate $1900 for the training and conference for the Access and Inclusion Committee was unanimously passed by council, after it was discussed by councillors that one training day may not be enough. 

Council also approved the waste charges to be increased by an extra $7 per annum for the three bin service because of an increase in contractor costs for the 18/19 year.

The waste charges for the rural waste levy is $136, the three bin collection service is $312 and for a pensioner it’s at a reduced cost of $282. 

Council has traditionally granted a concession to eligible pensioners for kerbside recycling costs since the introduction of the kerbside recycling service in 2008.

It was suggested that a $30 concession for eligible pensioners continue in 18/19.