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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : July 1st 2009
4 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, July 2, 2009 MB NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Party loyalty ditched in rate row FIONA BRADY A CANADA Bay Labor councillor has launched an astonishing attack on the Drummoyne State Labor MP Angela D'Amore. The slanging match began last week after Ms D'Amore made a statement in Parliament, blasting the Labor-controlled council's pro- posed rate rise as ''exorbitant''. With Labor Mayor Angelo Tsirekas on a (self-funded) council trip to Italy, Cr Neil Kenzler re- turned the fire, accusing Ms D'Amore of grandstanding and making ''illogical statements'' that was ''populist nonsense from morons''. Ms D'Amore had told Parliament: ''Charging higher rates does not encourage Canada Bay Council to drive efficiencies or plan for the long-term future. As a mother raising two children locally I understand Canada Bay Council's grab for more money will hurt my residents during these tough econ- omic times.'' But Cr Kenzler said in a state- ment: ''I do not believe the com- munity is interested in grandstand- ing. It expects those in Parliament ...tobeopenandfrankabout issues and come up with solutions. It is easy to be a populist but much harder to gain and maintain the respect of the community.'' Cr Kenzler claimed the ageing infrastructure was caused by ''dec- ades of rate-pegging and cost- shifting''. ''To be accused of doing the wrong thing in proposing an increase in rates to address a shortfall in funding for infrastruc- ture renewal is incredible.'' ''It would appear that D'Amore would prefer Canada Bay to ignore the elephant in the room and just pretend that decades of insufficient funding for local government did not occur.'' 'We get nothing for what we pay council' Residents of Wymston Pde, Abbotsford want the drainage in their street fixed. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~P0645281 RESIDENTS of an Abbotsford street in need of urgent drainage repairs are furious over the coun- cil's proposed rate rise. Homeowners in Wymston Pde say their street is a safety hazard in heavy rain and the council's ''quick fixes'' have not solved the problem. They were furious to find out their street is not on the council's list of works intended to be funded by the rate rise. Resident of 20 years Franca Rodilosso said she wanted ''some- thing for the money'' residents had paid in rates over the years. ''We pay, pay, pay,'' she said. ''Wymston Pde pays, I think, the highest rates of Canada Bay Coun- cil and we have never had any- thing for it except rubbish collec- tion, the occasional street sweeping . . .'' Mrs Rodilosso said some people might be forced to move if the rates got any higher. ''I live in a beautiful area, I don't want to move but that's what's going to happen.'' Last week, 13 residents of Wymston Pde met Mayor Angelo Tsirekas to put their case. A council spokeswoman said the Mayor would meet residents again next month and a council engineer will meet residents' representa- tives to discuss the issues. 6 per cent extra rate rise sought to pay for infrastructure CANADA Bay Council has applied to the State Government for a 6 per cent rate increase on top of the 3.5 per cent rate ceiling. It says it will use the money to fund $1.5 million in infrastructure such as footpaths, seawalls and signage. The council also wants to address an imbalance between house and strata rates. While Canada Bay house owners pay rates based on the value of their land, unit owners pay rates based on a share of the value of the land the complex is built on. This means they generally pay the lowest rate appli- cable in Canada Bay. MP Angela D'Amore said the council's plans meant some unit owners would have to pay up to 20 per cent more in rates, when they already pay substantial strata levies and have to maintain surrounding infrastructure. She has suggested the council apply to the Government's $200 million local in- frastructure fund for the money, but Cr Neil Kenzler said the work would not meet the qualifying criteria.
June 24th 2009
July 9th 2009