On May 26 I spoke in State Parliament on the Local Government (Rate Increases) Amendment Bill.
If you share the same concerns as over 200 of my local residents you can find out more about the Bill and our attempts to cap Council rates in my speech below.
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (11:06): I rise today very briefly to speak in support of the Local Government (Rate Increases) Amendment Bill that has been put before the house. More than 200 people in my community support this policy and have contacted my office in support of reducing council rates in our local area.
It is absolutely fantastic to have this bill before the house and to be looking at reducing the costs and charges and fees on families in all of South Australia. To reduce the cost-of-living pressures right across the state is only a good thing. This legislation will impose a council rate cap and will ensure that families keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets so that they can spend it as they see fit. A rate capping scheme will protect ratepayers from unnecessary council rate hikes and provide much-needed cost-of-living relief to all South Australians.
It was outlined in our 2036 manifesto that we want, and are committed, to reducing cost-of-living pressures. Under our scheme, the independent regulator, ESCOSA, will set the rate rises for councils and allow councils to apply for rate service increases at the Local Government Price Index (LGPI). Councils will be able to apply for rate rises above the cap but they will need to show that they have the support of their communities. We want to see councils being transparent as to how they come up with their rate rises. We do not want to see constant rate rises and constant pressures being put on families in the community.
It is a very good bill. It makes sure that council ratepayers' money is being used in value for money exercises; that is what is important. It is in place in New South Wales, and has been for several decades, and it was introduced by the Victorian Labor government in 2015 as well, so they see it as being a very good policy. Unfortunately, those opposite are addicted to increasing fees at every opportunity on all South Australians. All they know how to do is to take money from people's pockets and waste money, and that is why South Australia is in the predicament it is. It is simply not fair to have council rate increases out of proportion to the increasing cost of living. So, from a cost-of-living perspective this is a very good policy and will be much loved by all South Australians.