Councillor Andrew Guile has called for an extraordinary meeting of Shoalhaven City Council to prepare an “evidence based” case for the local government area not to be merged with Kiama.
He lodged the request, countersigned by Councillors Greg Watson and Mark Kitchener, with general manager Russ Pigg this morning.
Cr Guile confirmed the meeting had been sanctioned and scheduled for 2pm on Monday at the council chamber in Nowra.
“Our ratepayers cannot sustain the level of rating imposed by Kiama Council,” he said.
“The process in the merger involves an averaging out of rates over the two local government areas. Kiama has enjoyed a very high level of services but it has paid for them with rates that are much higher than the Shoalhaven’s.”
Cr Guile said the averaged out rates structure would be over and above the 25 per cent increase in Shoalhaven rates proposed by Mayor Joanna Gash to meet the NSW government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks.