Support for rates petition continues to grow
ANGER and dollar angst over the Gladstone Regional Council rates continues to swell as an online petition grows with nearly 4000 signatures seeking lower rates and a budget review.
Petition organiser and New Auckland home owner Rhyan Kruger is ecstatic at the level of support, but in an online letter acknowledges that under legislation the council cannot change its budget.
"But we can still make a stand and express our views on the next budget," he said.
Council CEO Stuart Randle said complaints about the rates had been made this week, but said every council across Australia received complaints at rates time.
"The number of inquiries is consistent with any previous year so far," he said.
"Council appreciates residents are feeling the pressure of a range of economic factors and their rates are another burden they would prefer not to have.
"However, our rates, with and without service charges, are comparable with similar councils in Queensland including Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay."
Although not signing on to the petition, the 2016 rates worry Beecher self-funded retirees Rob and Lyn Long.
They were hit with a bill of $4148, which Mr Long said was a gross increase of 6.1%.
He said their general rate had risen 37% in five years.