SHIRE of Mundaring councillors have established a clear direction as to which services will be retained in order to achieve a lower rate increase over the next four years.
Although the decision will still need to be endorsed at a July Council meeting, as part of the Shire's Long Term Financial Plan, councillors are unanimously supportive of a rate increase of approximately three-and-a-half percent in 2017/18 rather than the original five percent forecast.
Shire President David Lavell said he was pleased Council could work towards a new rating model. "Collectively, we were able to achieve a balance of a reduction in services with cost saving efficiencies that will ultimately achieve a lower rate increase for the Mundaring community," he said.
Based on community feedback acquired through recent surveys, councillors agreed to the following:
Due to overwhelming community support, there will be no change to the following services:
- Library opening times
- Tree Canopy Understorey Program (TCUP)
No immediate change to the following services over the next financial year, pending further investigation and research:
- Commercial activities at Lake Leschenaultia (canoe hire, camping and café)
- Mt Helena Aquatic and Recreation Centre (partnership with the Department of Education)
Feedback from the public, following participation in the community telephone and 'Have Your Say' surveys, also guided council direction on the following:
Significant changes to take effect as of 1 July 2017.
- Reduce expenditure on new drainage and footpath programs
- Disposal of Mahogany Creek Hall
- Discontinue Trek the Trail event
- Cease rebates for dog and cat sterilisation
- Cease funding for Tourism Strategy/Destination Marketing
- Closure of tennis courts at Wooroloo, Chidlow and Mahogany Creek
Cr Lavell said Council had worked hard with Shire of Mundaring employees to identify cost saving initiatives that would have as little impact on the community as possible.
"This has been a collaborative effort driven by the local community," he said.
"We would also like to take this opportunity to reinforce our confidence in the Shire's administration and acknowledge its ongoing advice and support, particularly during this process."