The Victorian Government announced last Friday that they will no longer be paying their council rates on public housing properties.
I won’t sugarcoat it, this is a bad announcement for local council jobs – with the rate cap in place councils will not be able to adjust their budgets to absorb this hit without falling further behind on cost increases and asset maintenance bills.
This new policy of shifting part of the costs of delivering a state government responsibility onto cash-strapped councils will cumulatively take more than 100 million dollars from metropolitan councils and councils in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo each year.
While the ASU strongly supports investment in social housing, this rate dodge will pull funds out of essential services, and the poorest Victorians will suffer as a result. Councils provide vital services to social housing residents. Youth and community workers, in-home care, libraries, roads and parks – these are the services the State Government has decided to defund because they don’t want to pay their own rates.
The ASU is making our views known to the Government and the media on this one. You can download our media release here.
We’ve also sent an email to State MPs calling on them to block this change before it is too late.
To sign up to our campaign for fairer funding for councils, click here