By TONY FOSTER
IT has certainly been an interesting past few weeks for our community with a number of positive issues that I can happily report on.
The first of course is the fact that once again Brighton is leading other municipalities in its rates increases by keeping the increase to just over $20 for each residential property in line with the Hobart Consumer Price Index. When you compare us with other councils, particularly in the south, where some councils are increasing rates by three times our 2.9 per cent, the rate increases we announced yet again prove the value and benefit of our successful flat rating system for ratepayers and our community.
We have been able to hold individual rates down through the continuation of our residential flat rate, part of Brighton’s ‘Fair Rating System’ which means no residential property rate increases by more than CPI. Similarly, each rural and commercial sector rate increases have also been kept down in line with the CPI, so businesses and farmers in the municipality can budget with continued certainty. You would have read in the daily media that other councils are announcing up to eight per cent increases in rates, undoubtedly significant imposts on their ratepayers.
Which leads me to other issues that have revolved around Brighton’s revolutionary rate system particularly the work we have been doing in lobbying State Parliament with regard to current legislation. We have spent some considerable time over past weeks, talking to politicians particularly in the Upper House about the impact of amendments to the Local Government Act relating to council rating.
The legislation did not cover Brighton’s approach and council lobbied all sides of Parliament to ensure the continuation of the fair rating system. As a result, the Government has given a commitment to introduce further legislation by the end of this year to entrench the Brighton system. This was after much lobbying on our part to turn the prevailing sentiment around. I would like to thank all Brighton Councillors and council officers for their help in ensuring that we were able to positively develop the arguments in favour of our rating system.
The other positive news over recent weeks has been the announcement that the business arm of our council Microwise Australia has developed a business alliance with North-West Coast-based company Point Duty Pty Ltd to market and develop Tasmanian software solutions and ITC services throughout Australia and overseas.
The two companies have previously worked successfully on joint projects and have now developed a more formal alliance to service client needs throughout Australia and internationally particularly in the Pacific region.
You will read more about this in this edition of Brighton Community News but it is important to highlight that this alliance demonstrates we are continuing to be at the leading edge of technology, particularly in the local government, public authority and cybercrime protection sectors.
There is a great deal of room for expansion in these areas and our community will reap significant rewards from the innovative solutions being developed by Microwise.