Lismore City Council has been considering a special rate variation to fix the roads.
Lismore City Council has been considering a special rate variation to fix the roads. Samantha Elley

Should council increase rates to fix Lismore's roads?

A LISMORE councillor has accused her colleagues of lacking "backbone" during discussions about vital road repairs.

Cr Elly Bird made the comment at last night's council meeting, during the debate over the need for a Special Rates Variation to find $3 million to repair the roads.

"Council needs to show some backbone," she said.

The Roads Infrastructure Funding Policy was the hot topic at the meeting and its sponsor, Cr Neil Marks, said no councillors had the appetite for a special rate variation.

Should council increase rates to fix our roads?

This poll ended on 12 April 2018.

Current Results

Yes

34%

No

65%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

But after an hour of debate, numerous amendments and motions, no decision was made on raising extra funds to fix the flood-damaged roads.

Cr Marks he said the council had to find a clear way to stop the deterioration of Lismore's roads.

"We need to find $3 million ... what I am asking is we have a policy that says we never spend less than we are spending now, we consult with the community to find out what they will have less of," he said.

"It's going to be a tough conversation, it's a lot of money to find."

Cr Bird demanded her colleagues undertake a $150,000 community engagement activity to find out what services people want to retain or lose in order to find the monies needed to fix the region's roads.

"It's the biggest issue the community want action on, I believe we need to have this conversation," she said.

"We have to go to the community and say these are the options."

Cr Eddie Lloyd said there was a need to educate the community.

"I'm tired of being a councillor being harassed about the roads day in day out," she said.

Meanwhile Cr Marks said everyone knew what residents wanted, which was to get the roads fixed.

BACKBONE: Cr Elly Bird demanded her colleagues they show some backbone and consult with the community on holding a special rate variation.
BACKBONE: Cr Elly Bird demanded her colleagues they show some backbone and consult with the community on holding a special rate variation. Alison Paterson

Cr Adam Guise accused Cr Marks of "an ambush," and said they had "to plug council's budget blackholes".

"I see too much budget shifting from year to year ... to suit the whims of council or government," he said.

"We do need to be open to the idea of an SRV as well as other ways of raising revenue and plugging holes in the council budget."

Various motions were lost before Cr Smith declared nothing passed.

"There is a middle ground here somewhere it may include an SRV, we will wait for the next budget," he said.



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