Gladstone region mayor Matt Burnett will put forward a motion at today's meeting to extend the discount period to pay 2019-20 rates.
Gladstone region mayor Matt Burnett will put forward a motion at today's meeting to extend the discount period to pay 2019-20 rates. Matt Taylor GLA160319SKATE

RATES DISCOUNT: Ratepayers may get gift of time

TODAY the Gladstone Regional Council will consider extending the discount period to pay rates by 30 days.

Mayor Matt Burnett will put a motion at today's council meeting to extend the discount period because some residents were not aware of changes to this year's rates and because of a delay in the distribution of notices.

In previous years the council issued half-yearly water and sewerage bills, but this year the costs for the full year were included on the notice.

Cr Burnett said in the council's agenda that despite a media campaign around the decision to revert to a single rates notice, many residents were unaware of the change.

He said there was also a delay in printing the notices, and some residents received them up to a week later than the issue date, August 19.

"While the economy is certainly improving many residents and small businesses are still struggling financially," he said.

"I believe an extension of the discount period is fair and reasonable."

The council estimates it could lose $200,000 worth of interest income if the extended discounts to October 18 for 10 per cent and November 19 for five per cent are adopted.

Also on today's agenda is a deputation from BITS Medical owner Gaston Boulanger about the state of Gladstone's health sector.

Mr Boulanger recently helped launch a petition calling for upgrades to Gladstone Hospital.

During his deputation Mr Boulanger is expected to discuss how the health sector has changed since 2012, Here 4 Health, the Vision 2030 Report and issues facing general practitioners.

Gladstone Festivals and Events will also have a deputation about the two events it manages, Australia Day and Ecofest.

The company is seeking a contract renewal for another two years.

Councillors will also discuss if the council should become a member of the Welcoming Cities Network.

The network would help deliver multicultural commitments in its Operational Plan 2019-20.

There are 31 registered local councils in Australia, including two in Queensland, the Livingstone and Balonne Shire Councils.

The meeting will begin at 9am at the council chambers.



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