Those against: Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell takes down the numbers from the Wyrallah community vote against a rates rise at a recent Rural Community Consultation.
Those against: Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell takes down the numbers from the Wyrallah community vote against a rates rise at a recent Rural Community Consultation. Jay Cronan

Council mistrust over rate rise

THERE is a high level of mistrust, and even anger, towards Lismore Council which was hindering its attempt to gain support for a rate rise above the State Government cap, a report has found.

However, the report found there was support of some elements of the special rate variation of 3.51pc, particularly the business levy.

“It was clear ... that there was a relatively high level of mistrust of council,” said the report by Twyfords that ran the consultation process.

“This mistrust necessarily colours the reaction to any proposal made by Council, and makes it more difficult to achieve widespread support.”

Mayor Jenny Dowell yesterday downplayed the level of mistrust, preferring to speak about the high level of community engagement during the process.

“The community has responded to the process, but there was little support,” she said, adding that because the ‘silent majority’ had not tabled their views, it was difficult to extrapolate their position.

Lismore councillors will be the first in the region to vote on whether to ask the State Government to approve a rate rise when they meet tomorrow night.

Under normal meeting procedure, one person from the community is allowed to speak in favour and one against, but Cr Dowell will put forward a motion to suspend standing orders, allowing as many speakers who want the opportunity to speak to do so.



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