$69-a-year rate rise
By FRAZER PEARCE
THE REALITY of a higher-than-expected average rate rise of almost $70 for Rockhampton homeowners did not scare Joy Christensen yesterday.
For the East Street resident, a likely 5.8% increase in the 2005-2006 budget (proposed in city council draft finance papers obtained yesterday) was simply a fact of life.
The budget is set to be brought down in mid-July and if rates go up 5.8% as forecast it means the average ratepayer, excluding water access and useage charges, would be paying an extra $69 a year in a bill of $1264.29 (after discount).
"If you want services you have to pay for them,'' Mrs Christensen said.
"You can whinge all you like, but it's not going to change anything.''
Mayor Margaret Strelow yesterday said although councillors had strived to keep the budget within the inflation rate of 2.6% it had not been possible.
"We had no choice,'' she said of the proposed increase."It's not something that sits well with me, but it would have been irresponsible not to. Council is committed to delivering the level of services the city deserves and needs.''
She had a firm ally in Mrs Christensen who bought her home four years ago.
"I agree with her (the Mayor),'' she said. "You only get what you pay for.
"I think the council is doing a lot of infrastructure work and they are trying to make things better (for the community).''
Duthie Avenue resident of 10 years Lorraine Day wasn't quite as understanding.
"I can't say I'm satisfied with it (a 5.8% rise), but you have to accept it,'' she said.
"We can't do anything about it. Everything else is going up. It would be nice if wages went up as well.