Mayor Matt Burnett receives a petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson. PHOTO: Matt Harris
Mayor Matt Burnett receives a petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson. PHOTO: Matt Harris

Mayor accepts 5000 signatures for rate freeze

A PETITION seeking a five-year freeze on rates and a reduction was accepted by Gladstone Regional Council today.

Tannum Sands resident Jo-Ann Cuthbertson launched the Change.org petition in September and has collected 5000 signatures.

“My rates have gone up by 50 per cent in 10 years and I think it’s time we need to address the issue,” Ms Cuthbertson said.

“I only just finished paying my rates off from last year in June this year, now I’m paying the rates off this year and I’m not even halfway there.”

She said the petition was inspired by a friend.

“I have a friend who got very distraught one night when he saw his rate bill and all he wanted to do was burn his house down and walk away,” she said.

Mayor Matt Burnett said reducing rates was not easy due to cost of wages and electricity increasing.

“That means reducing services and not necessarily building the infrastructure the community would like,” Cr Burnett said.

“In that same time … we’ve certainly reduced significant debt.”

He said council had already made the move to increase the discount rate period.

“What we’ve done as a council is tried our hardest to support our businesses and support our local indutry and maintain minimal rate rises where we can,” he said.