Central Highlands Regional Council hands down 1.8% rate rise
THE Central Highlands Regional Council has today released its 2014-15 Budget.
The "tough but fair" budget features a rate rise well below CPI at just 1.8% - or roughly $1 per week for most ratepayers.
'Ratepayers are doing it tough already, so we made every effort to keep our rate rise to an absolute minimum,' said Mayor Peter Maguire.
'Other levels of government have reduced their budgets due to the contraction in the economy," Cr Maguire said.
"We are not immune either. The coal industry slowdown, drought and retail down turn have all affected us locally.
"Council has responded.
"Being smarter about this year's budget has meant focusing on the needs and the must-haves to keep the Central Highlands growing sustainably.
"We're focused on improving efficiencies internally, while making sure that we still continue to invest in infrastructure and capital works projects for the future."
Council has reduced expenditure by 10% across its operations.
After years spent managing a $100 million flood recovery effort and navigating the peaks and troughs of the economic cycle, Cr Maguire said it was important that the Council maintained a strong financial position.