ROAD LEVY: Mayor Wayne Kratzmann weighs in on the contested road levy.
ROAD LEVY: Mayor Wayne Kratzmann weighs in on the contested road levy. Helen Spelitis

Can we really axe the road levy?

OUTGOING mayor Wayne Kratzmann has just one piece of advice for voters in the upcoming election.

He urged people not to vote based on rates or road levy promises.

"No-one wants the road levy, it's an easy thing to say you're going to get rid of," he said.

"But how many services are going to close?

"How many people sacked?

"I did everything to keep costs, rates and charges down and it often involved tears and heartache around the council table."

Cr Kratzmann said he foresaw no legitimate way to get rid of the road levy.

"You either don't fix the roads or sack an enormous amount of people and close services such as libraries and swimming pools."

He said a quick cash fix from the state or federal government was also an unlikely solution.

"I don't think anyone in the history of the South Burnett has lobbied harder (than me)," he said.

"We're not going to get it by lobbying, that money's just not there at the moment."

CLEAR PATH: Main Roads knocked around 10 trees down which were part of a plantation program in early 2000s. Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times
CLEAR PATH: Main Roads knocked around 10 trees down which were part of a plantation program in early 2000s. Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times Annie Perets

Cr Kratzmann also warned mayoral candidates against incorporating the road levy into standard rates.

"It's an easy thing to say for people who don't know what they're talking about," he said.

"If it just goes into a general revenue bucket and there's a funding emergency, it might not get spent on roads at all."

With a road levy, Cr Kratzmann said it was guaranteed 100% of the money was spent on roads.

While he backed the levy, Cr Kratzmann said he would support his successor's decisions.

"They will have my support because they'll be my mayor," he said.

"I'm not going anywhere, I'll be right here in the South Burnett."

But Cr Kratzmann said voters would inevitably be let down if they voted based on rates or road levy promises.

"You won't see a reduction in rates, it's impossible to do," he said.

"No-one's tried to keep costs down as much as me.

"Our rates will continue to rise for as long as we live, we just need to allocate that money properly for the best solution.

Cr Kratzmann's outgoing advice to the incoming mayor was to listen.

"It's easy to talk, but you need to learn to listen," he said.

He also warned the mayoral candidates the scrutiny faced in the position was significant.

"I think it's marvellous people put up their hand, but people don't know what they're in for," he said.

"But that's just part of the job."

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