Sheree Wirihana with her children Ihaka 9, Hemi, 4 and Waimarama 11.
Sheree Wirihana with her children Ihaka 9, Hemi, 4 and Waimarama 11. Chrissy Harris

Any rate rise is tough on families

AT least one Gladstone ratepayer expects people will be upset over the 5.3 per cent general rate and charges increase in the Gladstone Regional Council 2010/11 budget.

Sheree Wirihana said the rise would make it hard for some families to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

“The cost of food has gone up. The cost of electricity has gone up. The cost of living has gone up,” she said.

The Wirihana family are looking at a rate rise of more than $360.

Ms Wirihana said it was going to be especially hard for single income families such as hers, particularly with three children who want to play lots of sports but the cost dictates just how much.

She said it was good to hear the council had allocated funding for a Master Plan for the Marley Brown precinct as a regional multi-sports facility.

However, Ms Wirihana said it depended on what it would cost the ratepayers to build such a facility and what would be built.

“It would help towards keeping kids fit, healthy and occupied. We’ve got to keep kids busy,” she said.

Ms Wirihana did welcome funding for Gladstone region libraries, including the new e-audio books and e-books.

“I think that’s good because there’s certainly still a majority that can’t access the internet.”

With regards to a $1.5 million allocation for the replacement of the Gladstone Aquatic Centre circulation and treatment plant, Ms Wirihana wondered if the public would end up paying for it through centre admission fees.

“It’s quite expensive by the time you get an adult and three children in.”



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