Mayor Matt Burnett received a 5000 signature petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson last November.
Mayor Matt Burnett received a 5000 signature petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson last November.

‘Done nothing’: Anger over Council inaction on rates

TANNUM Sands resident Jo-Ann Cuthbertson has made the extraordinary claim Gladstone Regional Council have done nothing to help struggling ratepayers.

Last September Ms Cuthbertson launched a petition via Change.org and it collected 5,000 signatures.

Her inspiration behind starting the petition was the fact her rates had gone up by 50 per cent in ten years and she thought it was time to address the issue.

As the 2020/1 GRC budget looms, Ms Cuthbertson said the inactivity of Mayor Matt Burnett in response to her collection of the signatures was disappointing.

“As far as I know they have basically done nothing,” Ms Cuthbertson said.

“They have not provided me with any updates on anything to do with the rates at all so I do not know anything about them.”

Ms Cuthbertson said that made her feel as if they accepted the petition signatures then said “Okay that is her out of the way, she is gone.”

“They basically said, ‘We have appeased her by making a couple of changes” and stuff like that but they didn’t,” she said.

“I will see what happens this year then go again if I have to.”

Ms Cuthbertson, who has lived in Tannum Sands for 48 years, said there were only two slight changes of note.

“The discount period was extended and, secondly, council allowed people to pay the rates at their own pace - they were the only two changes I picked up on,” she said.

“Even if they didn’t come to me with the changes, if they put it in the paper or online... but there was nothing.”

Ms Cuthbertson said there will not be a resolution to this saga and she can see rates rising in the future.

“I thought a lot of the council would have been voted out at the last local government elections and things would change but I was wrong,” she said.

“If they raise the rates again I will be starting another petition through the state government and submitting it to local council hierarchy.”

Gladstone Regional Council declined the opportunity to comment.