Attempt to discuss rates freeze in open shut down
ACTING mayor Rae Gate moved quickly to prevent any public discussion on council rates at this week's Gympie Regional Council meeting.
She shut down Cr Wayne Sachs as he attempted to call for a staff report on the probable effects of a rates freeze, telling him rates issues would come up in confidential budget sessions of the council, which would begin soon.
It was the first general meeting of the council for 2015 and the first chaired by Cr Gate as acting mayor, following the resignation of former mayor Ron Dyne, for health reasons. Her comment stopped Cr Sachs before he had moved a motion, let alone obtained a seconder to test the issue with a vote.
Speaking at the morning tea break, a surprised Cr Sachs said: "They don't want to talk about rates do they?
"But it's a very big issue for a lot of people."
Cr Sachs had told the meeting during general business he would like to see a public report on the effects of a rates freeze. "Rates seem to be a very hot topic," he said.
"I would like to see the Director of Finance address us on what effect a zero rate increase would have on our budget."
Cr Gate said council budget sessions, which are closed to the public, would begin soon.
"That will be part of our rates discussions and that will begin soon," she said.
"I'd like to see us well prepared for that," Cr Sachs said.