WA rate raking flies well above CPI
New stats show council rates in outback WA have risen by over twice the rate of the consumer price index (CPI) this year.
Figures tabled in State Parliament this week show the average rate rise in regional WA this year was 5.5 per cent.
The current CPI rate is 2.6 per cent and outstrips the metropolitan rate of 5.2 per cent.
Six regional councils imposed double-figure average rate rises this year, the leader of which was the Shire of York, with its 12 per cent hike.
Shire of Esperance delivered the second biggest slug in the regions, with a 11.94 per cent rise, followed by the Shire of Trayning’s 11 per cent.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said rates are the councils’ central way of raising money, but the state was working with them to try to keep increases low.
“The Department of Local Government and Communities provides guidance to local governments to develop strategies for reducing the cost of maintaining and replacing assets, and increasing revenue,” he said.
“[I] strongly encourage local governments to explore opportunities for shared services and collaboration, which will allow local governments to increase efficiencies and deliver a wider range of services to the community.”
But Labor MP David Templeman is demanding better answers as to why rate rises keep going above the rate of inflation.
“We need to be asking the question what are they doing to put downward pressure on rate rises, because their ratepayers are also paying increased power bills, increased gas bills, increased fuel,” he said.
“A number of councils have had rate rises of over 5.5 per cent for the last five or so years.
“That's a big increase every year and the question has got to be asked: justify it; you tell us why it's justified.”