Liberals will introduce council rate capping legislation

The State Liberals will introduce legislation in Parliament tomorrow to impose a cap on council rate rises and prevent unnecessary rate hikes.

The commitment follows the release of the Liberals’ 2036 manifesto which commits to reducing cost of living pressures for South Australians.

 The Local Government (Rate Increases) Amendment Bill 2016 will protect South Australians from unnecessary council rate hikes by allowing independent regulator ESCOSA to set the rate rise councils are allowed to apply based on the cost of services councils provide.

 In the last year alone, some councils have increased their rates by up to triple the rate of inflation. 

 “The Weatherill Labor Government will now have to choose between supporting households and businesses, or maintaining the status quo where South Australians are hit with unnecessary rate hikes,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

 If the Weatherill Labor Government opposes this legislation, the State Liberals will introduce this policy if elected to Government in 2018.

 “As outlined in our 2036 manifesto, we are committed to taking the necessary action to reduce cost of living pressures,” said Mr Marshall.

 “Cost of living increases are placing enormous pressure on household budgets in South Australia, and increasing council rates are one of these cost pressures.

 “We need to ensure that households and businesses are receiving value for money and councils are delivering their services at the best possible price.

 “It is simply not fair on South Australians to have council rates increasing out of proportion to increasing costs.”