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What will City do to Fees?

Posted: 10th April 2011

No one would argue that minor increases in lease fees are just, such is the case with general rating - in which case increased of 4- 10% would be deemed appropriate to most on an annual basis, to cover increases in costs for a Council to deliver services and amenities to their community.

However, surely in the case of the naval base shacks you would agree that an increase of almost 100% from 2009-2010 to 2010 - 2011 is extreme. Then to increase another $1000 seems very unjust.

Those who have had shacks for many years have always noted an increase of up to $100 or so each year, and have paid their lease fees with no complaint. However such drastic increases as proposed really does force out regular families, and also many of the elderly pensioners who have Shacks at the site.

Shack owners have spent much time and effort maintaining the site, with minimal upgrades completed by the City of Cockburn over the last 20 years (With the exception of the fencing) --- This is by no way a complaint! I believe it has helped to preserve what is so magical about the site, and the ability to step back in time.

Even the taps are the same as when I was a child, the toilets too - though one has now been locked for safety and rendered....

I am aware that a community reference group has been set up and was very excited of the prospect of shack owners, Councillors and Officers working together to achieve an outcome that is beneficial to all.

I know that Shack owners are very willing to work with Council to allow the shacks to remain, including carrying out necessary upgrades if required etc.

I sincerely hope that all involved in the process will keep an open mind as it moves forward.

I think that Officers and Council have learnt alot about the Naval Base Shacks and its community since the rate hikes where proposed and would hope that the associations request to freeze fees (Which have already increased 100%) whilst the reference group carry out their important work and until some recommendations are provided to Council.

Afterall, it is a Councillors role to make a decision based upon all facts and the relevant recommendations put forward by officers.

It is my personal opinion that even the rate rises that took place for this financial year should be reviewed to consider if they really are appropriate.

It seems extreme, our Shack lease fees  are now more than double that of my actual home rates, and will be almost 3 times this amount if they go up again.

I look forward to following the outcome of this matter in  due course.