Lowan candidate Katrina Rainsford slams cost shifting to councils

Independent candidate for Lowan in the upcoming state election Katrina Rainsford

Independent candidate for Lowan in the upcoming state election Katrina Rainsford

A PLAN to buttress south-west ratepayers against rising municipal bills has been unveiled by Lowan independent candidate Katrina Rainsford.

The Southern Grampians Shire councillor said unpalatable rates rises released during the past fortnight were largely due to state and federal cost shifting to local government.

Dr Rainsford said if elected, she would advocate for the abolition of the landfill levy paid by councils as well as a reduction in payroll tax.

She said the measures were “more sensible” than the state opposition’s rates freeze policy.

“The reason why our rates keep going up year after year is because the Melbourne-based government keeps piling on tax after tax,” Dr Rainsford said yesterday.

“Those taxes get pushed on to the poor old ratepayer. What we need to do is roll back the landfill levy, which would see 2 per cent off rates.”

Dr Rainsford said the Labor rates freeze policy was not properly costed and would result in fewer services delivered by local government.

“Payroll tax is another area you’d roll back and that would save another 2 per cent,” she said. “The potential is there to not have a rates rise at all.

“Having a rates freeze sounds good but it just means that councils will cut off services to country communities.”

The Hamilton-based vet is running as an independent Liberal for the Lowan electorate at the November state election. Lowan has been held by National Party MP Hugh Delahunty for more than a decade but the Sports Minister decided to retire from politics earlier this year.

Hospital administrator Emma Kealy has been preselected to run as the National Party candidate while Murtoa resident Bob Scates has been endorsed as the Labor party candidate.