COUNCIL is tired of getting lumped with the bills associated with government decisions and is set to lobby for a fairer deal.
Representatives from councils around the state came together in Albury on Sunday for the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) annual conference.
Tamworth Regional Council has two motions on the conference agenda which essentially tell the state government to put its money where its mouth is.
One motion will call on the state government to increase its rebates to councils subsidising the rates of pensioners in the community.
Mayor Col Murray said council was required to offer the pensioner subsidy under legislation but called it a “cost shifting imposition” hand-balled from the state government.
Currently, council discounts 50 per cent off pensioner rates, water and waste charges, which it sees as a growing cost with an ageing population.
“This burdens the Tamworth community with an unacceptable and additional expense of $840,000 per year that could be spent on improving infrastructure and services,” council’s submission to the conference said.
Council will also ask the conference to vote on removing Rural Fire Service assets from local government asset registers.
Cr Murray said the ratepayers were lumped with the costs associated with these requirements set down for council in state legislation.
“If [the government] wants to come up with a good idea, it should be the one paying for it, rather than pushing its costs onto the community,” he said.
The conference will also provide an opportunity for the state’s newest council conglomerate, Regional Cities NSW, to have a get together.
The super-group, proposed by Cr Murray, now has 11 councils from NSW signed-on.
“It gives you the satisfaction that what you’re trying to push forward has got merit,” he said.