Council faces subsidy worry

IT was “all well and good” for Natural resources Minister Stephen Robertson to urge councils to not increase water prices yesterday – to ensure no unnecessary pressure on households – yet the State Government has scrapped subsidies for water and sewage Gympie Regional Council (GRC) Mayor Ron Dyne said.

At a meeting this week Cr Dyne said subsides helped ratepayers by keeping the costs of water and sewerage down.

He said while GRC was fortunate to receive subsidy money for a new $22 million sewage treatment plant, without that money ratepayers would have had to pay $40 extra per year for 20 years to pay back borrowed money for the plant.

Council will bring the issue forward at the 2010 Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) conference held in Mackay later this year.

Cr Ian Petersen and Cr Rae Gate will both be at the meeting and submit two motions.

The first, put forward by Cr Graham Engeman, will highlight the increasing number of State Government regulations and the lack of financial support to implement and monitor responsibilities.

And the second was the LGAQ approach State Government to seek the reinstatement of subsidies for local government infrastructure. Cr Engeman said the rising costs of regulations were an increasing burden on local government.

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