A question of balance

THIS week I have been at meetings with the New Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, Regional Capitals New South Wales and Regional Capitals Australia.

All with the aim of getting a little more slice of the pie for our residents.

But it is not easy as everyone is under the same pressures.

Do more with less is not just a council mantra, but one I hear in our local businesses and government facilities.

No one has a magic bullet for this, but it does make you look carefully at what you do and why you do it.

For us in Lismore we have a lot to do and less to do it with as we haven't had a rate rise for many years, just sticking with rate pegging which does not keep up with inflation.

While our surrounding councils have increased theirs by up to 30 per cent in some cases.

It is inevitable that Lismore will have to follow this trend and include a small increase to keep up with the cost of doing business.

I know I am not supposed to talk about it, don't mention a rate rise, but truth is better than fiction and there are too many lies out there in the community.

Lismore council is not top heavy and has not increased staff over in recent years.

We have increased debt, but only to fund significant and much needed infrastructure to boost development and prepare for the future.

It is very smart debt borrowed at historically low levels of interest that will mean houses, businesses and families have a future here.

As always the question is of balance.

While council only collects 3.5% of taxes, we maintain 32 per cent of community infrastructure.

That is why we are expecting more from state and federal governments to support our community and keep rate rises to a minimum.

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