Uncontrolled rate hikes for Wyndham ratepayers will soon be a thing of the past, as the Andrews Labor Government presents legislation for the Fair Go Rates system.

Local Werribee MP, Tim Pallas said the Fair Go Rates system, to be place in time for the 2016-17 financial year, would give local ratepayers greater value for money and more of a say on community priorities.

The Labor Government has proposed amendments to the Local Government Act 1989 to enable the Minister for Local Government to set a cap on rates and for the ESC to assess applications from councils to go above the cap.

The Bill authorises the Minister to stop councils exceeding a cap on rates, based on the Melbourne Consumer Price Index (CPI) forecast.

Mr Pallas said the Bill also provided the Essential Services Commission with oversight of council spending, ensuring ongoing compliance and the monitoring of the overall outcomes for communities.

If a council has a project that requires it to go above the rate cap, it will need to demonstrate to the ESC that an increase is warranted and that they have their community’s support.

Earlier this year the Government asked the ESC to develop a framework to cap council rate rises. As part of this work, the ESC extensively consulted with councils and communities across the state.

Quotes attributable to Tim Pallas MP,

“I’ve heard loud and clear that local residents expect greater accountability, a greater say and greater value for money – and that’s what the Andrews Labor Government’s Fair Go Rates system will deliver.”

“For the sake of Wyndham residents, it is time for the Opposition to stand with the Labor Government and put an end to the massive rate increases of the past.”