Seal the deal: Former mayor wants more bang for his ever-increasing ratepayer bucks

AFTER paying more than $2000 in rates each year for decades, Colin Harrington thinks he deserves a suburb with sealed roads and footpaths.

But the former Liverpool mayor's semi-rural zoned suburb of Denham Court does not have footpaths, or kerbs and guttering on its roads.

Liverpool Council voted at their last meeting to increase rates by 12 per cent, following a community consultation.

The increase will include the permanent continuation of a 9 per cent special rate variation which has been in place for five years and an increase of 3 per cent.

Mr Harrington said he was disappointed that his rates — which are about $2400 — would be going up again.

"We pay so much in rates and all we see for that is potholes filled in and the picking up of rubbish," Mr Harrington said.

"Nobody likes paying more rates, but it would be all right if it seemed like we were getting something for it."

More than 3500 people voted in an online and posted survey to either reduce rates, maintain them at the current level or increase them.

The report tabled at the council indicated that 24 per cent of respondents voted to reduce the rates, 53 per cent voted to maintain them and 30.2 voted to increase them.

Liverpool councillor Tony Hadchiti said the survey results were a clear indication of what the community wanted.

"Most of the time you'll only get 500 to 1000 people responding to surveys like this," Cr Hadchiti said.

"But in this instance we had more than 3000 people respond and many of them were from the rural areas.

"Keeping the rates at this level will allow us to continue with work like the graffiti removal program, which has allowed us to get our graffiti problem under control."

The council report said the funds raised by the special rates variation so far went to an increase in the council's annual capital works program by about $5 million, with a further $0.6 million going to the annual maintenance program.

Mr Harrington said little of that work was done in rural suburbs.

"There are big heavy vehicles coming through here, including earthmoving trucks, which use local roads as short cuts between main roads," he said. "So it's not safe to walk on the road and there aren't any footpaths, so I've stopped taking my walks."

The council will now need to seek approval from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to officially adopt the rate increase.

Cr Peter Harle opposed the increase because he said the council should have made it clear that the extra 3 per cent increase was not just the annual Consumer Price Index increase.

"The CPI is only 2.3 per cent and the council should have been more clear about why we are asking for a further 0.7 per cent," Cr Harle said.

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