Friday 25 July 2008

Pyne defends no vote

Independent Cairns Regional Councillor, Robert Pyne, was the only one to vote against the Rate rise, as part of the 2008-09 Council budget.

In his regular Rock News to residents of White Rock, Mt Sheridan, Woree and Bayview of Division 3, Robert Pyne says that the budget handed down by Mayor Schier this week included a rates rise of 3.5 to 4%; removal of the 5% discount for early payment; the Cleaner seas levy of $75; increases in water charges; and removal of the Greening Allowance.

Robert explains and defends his reason why he was against the increase of rates and the way the budget was put together:

  • My decision to vote against the Council budget and against the rates rise for residents
    of the Cairns region was a hard decision to make.

    My fellow Councillors spoke of financial responsibility and the need to balance the budget, but I could not agree to increasing Council rates above the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    This followed calls from Warren Pitt, Jim Turnour and members of the business community to limit any increase. Unfortunately a majority of councillors decided not to support this approach.

    It was talking to people in the streets of White Rock or down at Mt. Sheridan that convinced me it was not fair to put an additional burden on people at a time when the
    cost of housing and fuel is making life very difficult.

    Having been dependant on a Centrelink pension for much of the last 15 years, I know how any additional cost can crack a family budget. With increased fuel and housing costs, many people are really doing it tough.

    Two funding options were not adopted. One was my proposal for the sale of unused land beside the Council offices in Spence Street and the other was trimming or delaying some of Council’s major projects.

    My other reason for voting against the rates rise is the way the increased burden will be felt. I would prefer a system of residential rates capping, that would see a rates cap set at CPI on a person’s principle place of residence, shifting some of the burden to rental and commercial properties.

    The Cleaner Seas Levy is one charge Council is forced to place on ratepayers to meet state government demands for discharge of wastewater. It’s costly, but in this case the real winner will be the Great Barrier Reef.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Media whore Rob Pyne said "how high" when John McKenzie snapped his fingers this morning - breaking a land speed record to get on the Wednesday morning show with Macca. Asked to defend his "no" vote on the rates rise in light of community complaints that he has no alternative plans, he reached deep into his bag of political grandstand plays and "cut up" his council-provided Cabcharge card!

What a charlatan this guy is turning into!

Why didn't he perform this stunt at Council? Because it was sleazy politics instead of honest discussion of the issues. He dared the others to do the equivalent with their auto allowances, but quickly backtracked on divisions 1 and 10, areas of huge division geography.

He provided not ONE concrete budget item to cut nor any feasible alternative, like the good Labor mutt he is.

Then ex-mayor Byrne was on the line, and assailed Pyne's clear ignorance about council finances - Byrne took him apart like a cheap suit.

As a division 10 resident I was one of the large majority that voted OUT Byrne and his development cronies. But it's clear that this councillor isn't putting in the time or intellect to understand what's going on. Easier for Gen Y to "spin" all the issues instead of dealing with them honestly.