The Labor Party’s opposition to rate capping has slugged South Australian families and businesses with a bill of up to $19 million last financial year alone, new analysis has shown.
Last year the Labor Party, along with Upper House Crossbenchers, voted against the Marshall Liberal Government’s plan to cap council rates to ease cost of living pressures.
Analysis of rate increases over the 2019-20 financial year shows council rate revenue rose by almost $19 million over and above the Local Government Price Index (LGPI) over that period.
It also shows that over the last decade an average of 60 of the 68 councils, around 88 per cent, have been increasing their rates above LGPI.
“Peter Malinauskas and the Labor Party have sentenced South Australian families and businesses to higher council rates by opposing our rate capping plan,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll.
“If Labor let these massive rate hikes continue, it will add hundreds of dollars to household and business council rate bills in the long run.
“That’s why the Marshall Government has introduced a plan into Parliament to keep rate rises down.
“Peter Malinauskas’ Labor Party now have a choice to make – either support the Marshall Government’s proposal to keep rates down or sentence South Australian families and businesses to higher council rates, yet again.
“This new mechanism to keep council rates down has been developed after extensive consultation and feedback from the local government sector over the last 18 months.
“This mechanism, developed after feedback with the local government sector, strikes the balance between keeping rate rises down and enabling councils to deliver important community services.
“The people of South Australia gave us a clear mandate at the last election to cap council rates and if it’s blocked again by the Labor Party, we will be taking this to the next election.”
Under the Marshall Government’s proposal, councils would be required to include clear information on proposed rate increases in draft annual business plans that are released each year, to ensure ratepayers can understand and engage with this critical decision.
Based on independent advice, the Minister will have the power to give a council a direction which could limit future rate increases.