June 14, 2013
The State Administrative Tribunal yesterday adjourned mediation between the CGGRatepayers Demand Change group and the City of Greater Geraldton Council, after a marathon seven hour session.
The purpose of the adjournment was to allow both parties to consider the information provided and discussed during the meeting, and to allow further meetings between the ratepayers’ group. This will also allow the City’s Chief Executive Officer, Ken Diehm, to draft an agreement that may substantially satisfy the issues raised by the CGG Ratepayers Demand Change group.
The mediation discussions are confidential however, President of the CGG Ratepayers Demand Change group, Max Correy, said the meeting was productive.
“Yesterday was very productive, we were able to get the Council to listen to our concerns and ascertain a better understanding of the Council’s financial position,” he said.
City Mayor, Ian Carpenter, agreed the mediation was productive.
“It was a good meeting, I was very pleased with the constructive and positive way in which the Ratepayers Demand Change group put forward their case and I believe they now have a much better understanding of the financial issues our Council faces,” he said.
Mediation has been adjourned until Friday, June 28, 2013 at which time, if no agreement can be reached, a further Directions Hearing will be held by the State Administrative Tribunal.
“I am confident that by continuing to work closely together, the CEO and CGG Ratepayers Demand Change group can reach an outcome that will be acceptable to both parties,” said Mr Carpenter.
“I am happy the Council is now showing a real desire to listen to our concerns and appreciate the impact that rates have on the community,” Mr Correy said.
“I too believe that we should be able to reach an agreement that will substantially change the Council’s future budgeting processes and ensure that the rates burden is reduced.”
Meetings between the City CEO and the CGG Ratepayers Demand Change group will be held early next week with the object of reaching a mutually acceptable outcome.