Max Correy from CGG Ratepayers Demand Change has said that the threat of being sued, along with the ongoing costs involved in dealing with the council has resulted in their decision to withdraw their complaint regarding the recent 2.55% rate increase.
The City of Greater Geraldton issued a press release on the matter, saying the group reneged last month on an agreement it signed with the City to endorse the 2.25 per cent increase in total rates revenue and took the issue to SAT, but has now decided to withdraw their complaint.
Mr Correy says that he didn't wan to risk the livelihoods of the people on the committee, in particular two women with 6 kids under 10 between them .
Max Correy says he holds nothing against any councillor in particular, saying "the councillors have their heart in the right place. What they have to do is an onerous task. I think they just can't see what they're doing to this town though. Every day people call me saying they can't afford their rates, and it's affecting businesses too with landlords having to foot the bill as their tenants simply can't afford it."
"We should have just gone straight to SAT (instead of mediation)" says Mr Correy. "We gave the new CEO a lot of slack, but the contract we originally agreed to was modified."
Mr Correy believes he agreed to a rate increase for each household of 2.25%, and says he was shocked when he discovered a lot of households received an increase of 2.55%. The City of Greater Geraldton dispute this and say that the figure of 2.25% that was discussed was the overall collective rate increase across the board.
“We want to put this matter behind us and concentrate on improving the City’s
productivity and efficiency,” said CGG Mayor Mr Ian Carpenter.
Mr Correy admits with dwindling funds in the bank they had little option but to end the complaint, but realises the council elections are only a couple of months away and says that a number of CGG Ratepayers Demand Change members intend to run. Mr Correy says he himself will not be seeking election for local government though.