Letter to the Editor

December 20, 2017

Another Moira Shire fail

Moira Shire Council has again failed. It has failed to spend, for the benefit of shire residents and businesses, the considerable amounts it collects from ratepayers.
The shire’s financial report for 2016-17 shows a surplus (ie a “profit”) of $10.2 million. That’s almost one third of the total rates paid to the shire last year. And it has accumulated even more, $30.8 million in funds sitting uselessly in bank accounts earning a meagre rate of interest. Those funds should be spent on the many worthy causes around the shire and in satisfying unmet needs of the shire’s businesses and residents for new and enhanced facilities.
In Yarrawonga, for instance, funds should be committed now to the establishment of a new library and the commencement of an indoor aquatic and recreation centre and more should be contributed to benevolent institutions such as MHA Care.
The shire has guaranteed income each year from rates, so there is no reason why it needs to continue making profits and accumulating unspent funds. The 2016-17 profit follows sizeable surpluses in the previous two years and funds on hand (cash at bank and term deposits) have been more than $24 million in each of the past three years.
Ratepayers deserve an explanation and an explanation of where the excessive amounts of accumulated funds are intended to be spent. These funds are, after all, ratepayers’ money, not the shire’s.

Mick Shadwick, Burramine

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