RATES UPROAR: Mayor Keith Campbell addresses concerned Kumbia residents during the recent council listening tour
RATES UPROAR: Mayor Keith Campbell addresses concerned Kumbia residents during the recent council listening tour Matt Collins

'It's just wrong': Rates uproar from rural residents

KUMBIA residents weren't shy in expressing their thoughts about the recent rates increase at the council's latest listening tour event on Thursday evening.

South Burnett Regional Council is currently in the middle of their annual listening tour events and Kumbia residents did not miss the opportunity to have their opinions heard.

One of the hot topics of discussion was the significant increase to rates, with some residents saying their notice had increased by 17 per cent.

At one point in the evening, mayor Keith Campbell began to respond to the question of why certain residents were hit with such a significant rates increase.

"The point is that the basis of rate calculation is unimproved capital value," he said.

To which an attendee took exception.

"But it's wrong," they said.

"It's just wrong."

The concerned rate payer went on to say they expected council would have been more transparent with the rates increase.

"What council should have done is come out and said 'hey listen we have got it wrong'," they said.

"Roads aren't up to scratch and we need to spend a lot of money there and we are going to lump you with it."

A Kumbia business woman said she felt rural residents were getting penalised for the poor management of past councils and it was an unacceptable way to run a business.

"If I mismanaged my business I would not go out to my best corporate customer and say 'I am hitting you up for 20 per cent'," she said.

"That is what you've done, you are forcing a small minority to pull the weight on 10 years of mismanagement."

Cr Campbell gave attendees a run down of the extensive steps council has taken to try and free up funds to lessen the impact on rate payers.

"We have made a number of positions redundant within the organisation," the mayor said.

"We did a few other exercises within council to reduce costs wherever we saw we could."

Cr Campbell advised an audit had been done on the energy use within council

"We discovered we were able to retrieve back something like $150,000," he said.

One rural residents made a point of reminding council representatives of the value of rural residents within the South Burnett.

"Rural area is the lifeblood of Kingaroy," they said, "and the roads are the veins that feed the town."

South Burnett

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