Last week the Minister for Local Government set the rate cap at 2%, stating that “as a result of Fair Go Rates, annual growth in council rates has slowed and spending on capital and services has increased.”
With growth in rates revenue slowing and spending increasing, something has to give.
Eventually this will lead to service cuts and an infrastructure renewal gap as we saw with the Kennett Governments rate freeze in the 1990’s.
It’s time for the government to provide better funding of the services our communities rely on every day and safe, secure jobs with reasonable pay increases for local government employees.
As rate capping bites, more and more councils will seek to contract out or discontinue services. The casualties this year include:
- Nillumbik CC outsourced Waste Collection
- Hobsons Bay CC and Maribyrnong CC outsourced Home and Community Care (CHSP)
- South Gippsland CC, Bass Coast CC and Murrindindi CC surrendered funding for CHSP and no longer provide the service.
Home and Community Care continues to be at risk compounded by the uncertainty of funding for CHSP post June 2022. Many other Councils have made the decision to cease the service in the future or are reviewing their future commitment to service provision.
But we have been able to save some other services such Environmental Health and School Crossing Supervisors at Moonee Valley CC, Edendale Farm at Banyule CC, Waste Collection at Moreland CC and in-home aged care services at a number of other councils (for the moment).
Together we can campaign to ensure that local government continues to provide quality, well-resourced services and does not just become contract managers chasing the cheapest deal.
The more members there are, the more powerful the union is. New members are coming on board every week, now is the time to talk to your non-member colleagues about joining the ASU https://www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
Does your work group have an ASU Delegate? (if you don’t know then the answer is probably no). ASU Delegates provide support and advice to members every day and are the vital link between members and your Organiser. If you would like to be a Delegate please contact the ASU on 1300855570 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The ASU protects, promotes and improves the working conditions and entitlements of our members. We are not-for-profit, member-owned and run. We exist only for the benefit of members.