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Councillors want review changes

THREE City of Swan councillors have put forward motions dealing with the controversial rate method review process the council has been undertaking.

Mayor David Lucas has put forward a motion which calls for the deferral of the general unimproved value (UV) rated property review until the review of the Local Government Act 1995 being carried out by the state government is legislated.

Cr Lucas’ motion also requests that once the Act review is completed a report be prepared for the council outlining the legislative requirements of rating associated with reviewing the method of valuation for rating purposes and the proposed approach to engaging the community for the purpose of reviewing the method of valuation for rating purposes.

His motion also wanted it acknowledged that while the general review of UV rated properties was deferred, the council was required to review the method of rating individual properties where it was informed of subdivisions, change of use and developments as these occur from time-to-time.

The motion also noted the council will still face equity and consistency issues within the UV rated properties already converted to gross rental value (GRV).

Cr Lucas also wanted it recorded the reason for the motion was the pending review of the Local Government Act 1995 may change the interpretation of ‘rural land’ which could have a direct impact on the review of the method of valuation of rateable properties.

Swan Valley-Gidgegannup ward councillor Charlie Zannino’s motion said the City of Swan review of valuation method used for rating rural properties within the city should be deferred until the Local Government Act 1995 and Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 reviews were complete.

Swan Valley-Gidgegannup ward councillor Rod Henderson put up a motion asking that the city make public and place on its website legal advice received from McLeod Barristers and Solicitors dated November 14 containing the information received pertaining to UV-GRV land rating (with officer and provider names deleted) and to include in the minutes of the meeting the legal advice to be made public.

An officer’s report presented at the city’s agenda forum on Wednesday, December 6 said the city had taken the community’s feedback seriously and made changes to try and address their concerns.

The report said the council could consider two options and outlined some advantages and disadvantages of each but did not make a recommendation.

Option one was for the council to keep the existing timetable of December 22 while option two was to defer the general UV review until after the review of the Local Government Act.

The city’s annual electors meeting is to be held on Tuesday, December 12 at 5.30pm at the Midland Town Hall auditorium.

Gidgegannup Progress Association chairwoman Sally Block said the association hoped rural ratepayers would attend the meeting to put forward motions about the review.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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