Business hopes to avoid $20K charge as council slashes

BUSINESS owners anxiously waiting to see if the new mayor Matt Burnett will honour his promise to slash infrastructure charges will find out next Tuesday.

During his speeches in the lead up to the March elections, Cr Burnett repeatedly said business owners such as personal trainer Brett Newman - slugged with more than $20,000 in charges - wouldn't have to pay.

HELP US: Before the elections personal trainer Brett Newman is called on the council to offer a discount on infrastructure charges for small business to help fight the economic downturn.
HELP US: Before the elections personal trainer Brett Newman is called on the council to offer a discount on infrastructure charges for small business to help fight the economic downturn. Paul Braven

The new council is yet to follow through with any formal changes, but on April 20, Cr Burnett asked council officers to prepare a report detailing options to reduce council infrastructure charges.

That report is due back on the council table on May 24.

Cr Matt Burnett hasn't revealed details of any changes, or whether there will be refunds for businesses that have already paid, but says business owners could expect "a positive outcome".

In the days following Cr Burnett's landslide victory, the new leader said he was determined to make it clear "Gladstone was open for business".

He said part of that would be to lower the financial burden on small business owners by reducing council charges. 



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