Ex-mayor lobbies for rates freeze

Former mayor Don Hill addresses South Gippsland Shire Council administrator Julie Eisenbise, with supporters in the background.

DON Hill was back in the council chamber last week, just days after being stripped of his mayoral robes.

He was lobbying council to not increase rates this financial year, just hours before South Gippsland Shire Council administrator Julie Eisenbise was to vote on council’s budget.

She later deferred consideration of the budget until the July 24 council meeting.

Council officers had recommended rates rise by 2.5 per cent percent.

Mr Hill, the former Tarwin Valley ward councillor, and the rest of council were dismissed by the Victorian Parliament the previous week.

Mr Hill was joined in the chamber by fellow sacked councillors Matt Sherry and Steve Finlay, along with Jim Fawcett who resigned from council before it crumbled.

Mr Hill’s wife Barbara was there too, along with supporters, members of South Gippsland Action Group and South Gippsland Rates Challengers.

Mr Hill was there as a citizen Don, sitting opposite Ms Eisenbise who occupied the seat he would have warmed had he not been booted out.

He was still adamant that a zero per cent rise was feasible.

“The next four year budget was well over stacked with projects and one of the consequences of that is that it is impossible to achieve the rate rise that is suggested,” he said.

He said the design of the Korumburra Community Hub could have been delayed and argued for staff to be more productive to bring the rate rise within reach.

Not property moguls

Mr Hill returned to the microphone later in the day to defend allegations that he and former councillor Andrew McEwen were involved in developing property while on council.

Mr Hill said he was not involved in any subdivisions.

He asked for council to declare the subdivision interests of all previous councillors.

He also called for council to write to the Victorian Local Government Minister to ask for the councillors’ response to the municipal monitor’s report to be tabled in Parliament, as the sacked councillors “deserve natural justice”.

His questions were taken on notice by Ms Eisenbise.




Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=29299

Posted by on Jul 2 2019. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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