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Rate rise for 'betterment' project

Robyn Herron, Thursday March 7, 2013 - 08:04 EDT

The Walgett Shire Council's applying for a permanent three per cent rate rise, to help improve local roads.

The extra revenue will be on school bus routes on the black soil plains, to try and prevent future flood damage.

The general manager Don Ramsland says under new Natural Disaster laws the state and federal governments will match whatever council spends on the roads.

He says the increase would give council an extra half a million dollars each year to raise roads and improve causeways.

"We've had four floods in a little under three years and each time some of these roads have been damaged by floodwaters and it causes the closing down of bus routes, the isolation of people out at Grawin for example was another factor," he said.

He says the money from the rate increase will be quarantined and will only be spent on improving infrastructure to better withstand flooding.

"This is one way that we can come to the party so far as local residents are concerned in getting those roads back into reasonable traffic condition as quickly as possible after flooding events.

"If we can improve the roads to the standard where they're not damaged to such an extent by flood in the future."

The council has until the end of the month to apply to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal for the increase.


© ABC 2013

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