Thursday 6 November, 2014
Candidates back VFF call for Local Government Inquiry
CANDIDATES vying for Victoria’s newest electorate, the seat of Euroa, have backed farmers’ call for an inquiry into Local Government and a fairer rural rating system.
Nationals candidate Stephanie Ryan, the Liberals’ Tony Schneider and Labor’s Clare Malcolm have all backed the Victorian Farmers Federation’s call for an inquiry into the sustainability of local government and the fairness and equity of rural rating.
VFF President Peter Tuohey said he was seeking Coalition Local Government Minister Tim Bull’s support for an inquiry in the leadup to the November 29 State Election.
“It’s one of the questions we’ll be putting to Mr Bull at the VFF’s Rates & Local Government Forum in Kilcunda next Monday night (November 10),” Mr Tuohey said.
“We’ve asked Shadow Minister for Local Government Richard Wynne to attend the forum and debate Mr Bull on Local Government and rating issues, but he was unable to attend.”
“However we’re still hopeful Labor will back an inquiry, given rural rates are one of the biggest issues confronting rural people.”
The VFF is calling for an inquiry into:
- a) options to address local government sustainability.
- b) incidence of cost shifting and the impact on local government.
- c) capacity of different communities to pay for council services.
- d) cost of providing council services in different regions and the factors that influence these costs.
- e) fairness and equity of the rating system in rural and regional areas.
- f) transparency and accountability of municipal council governance.
- g) appropriateness of property value as a measure of ratepayers’ capacity to pay.
- h) reliance on property-based taxes to fund local government.
Peter Tuohey, VFF President 0428 952 425
Tom Whitty, Media Manager 0417 165 784