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Councillor Column – 3 October 2023 – Councillor Mary Dodd

Oct 7, 2023

For Immediate Release 3 October 2023
Authorised by Councillor Mary Dodd

Council Services

Services, what services?!

At the Special Rate Variation (SRV) Community Consultation Workshops, it has been interesting to see what is provided through the general rates (water, waste and sewer are separate and are levied on a user pays basis). Of course, the biggest spend by Council is on roads, bridges, footpaths etc. Everyone uses the roads – all 2,800km of them!

But what of those services that not everyone uses? Sporting grounds, swimming pools, parks, libraries, community halls, camping areas, public toilets, street cleaning, cemeteries, youth services, street seating, ranger services, visitor information centres, stormwater management, and events such as Woolfest and the Harden Kite Festival. And administrative services such as planning and development applications, traffic management, making policy…

Many of these services we might only use occasionally when we visit a larger centre, are minding the grandchildren, have visitors or find a lost dog.

However, it is these services, that help make Hilltops a great place to live. When we moved to Hilltops, we had a young family and we looked around to see what schools, clubs, shops, and medical facilities were available. We noted what businesses and services were nearby. Those things are not provided by Council, but by having liveable towns, people are attracted to the area to provide the necessary services and businesses. Our community works together with Council to provide an attractive place for people to live and work.

Of course, it is a complicated balancing process to decide which services should be prioritised. I urge you to come along to the last few SRV workshops. There are no proposed numbers for an SRV yet (that will come later, before an SRV application if there is one), but there is an opportunity to say which services you think are important and give other feedback.

Mary Dodd
0404 485 519