Mayor offers to talk rates with MP

ARARAT Rural City mayor Glenda McLean has offered Emma Kealy the chance to discuss rates after the Lowan MP urged councils not to abandon differential rates.

“Lowan MP Emma Kealy is welcome to discuss the Ararat Council rates with me anytime,” Cr McLean said.

“Many farmers have told me they want the same system as Moyne and it has no differential rates. In the meantime I remind Emma that councillors did not want to “make a quick buck from farmers’.”

“What we want is a fair system whereby Ararat residents in particular don’t continue to pay the high rates burden.

“What we also need is a fair system for all groups of business ratepayers in this municipality.”

Ms Kealy issued a statement last week calling on Cr McLean, as the new Ararat Rural City mayor, to rule out pursuing “uniform rates” and provide confidence for ratepayers.

“Council must demonstrate that it has learnt its lesson from the commission of inquiry and will treat rural property owners in Ararat Rural City with the respect they deserve”,” Ms Kealy said.