Mayor Mick Curran
Mayor Mick Curran Gympie Regional Council

Mayor fails to even once keep region's rate rises to CPI

NOTHING can erase fact that we pay some of the highest rates in Queensland - if not Australia - here in the Gympie region.

This year, more than half the region's population will spend 5 per cent of their annual income on rates - their bill will cost them almost three weeks wages.

Mayor Mick Curran was elected on a promise to keep rates to CPI. That has not happened once.

They continue to rise every year, over and above the CPI.

Mayor Mick Curran opens the Mary Valley Skate Park on Saturday.
Mayor Mick Curran opens the Mary Valley Skate Park on Saturday. Contributed

The Mayor declined our invitation to comment on this yesterday. And while he wouldn't be the first politician to fail to honour an election promise, consider this:

Wages growth has pretty much stalled in Australia;

Unemployment in the Gympie region is higher than the state and national figure, and average household income is significantly lower;

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie Council Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

Only 8 per cent of Gympie region households earn a "high” income ($2500 a week or more) and 26 per cent are on a "low” income (less than $650 a week);

The Gympie region may not be officially drought declared but the drought is on our doorstep, and there are plenty of farmers in this region battling with drought conditions and the extra costs they bring;

With little disposable income, people tighten their belts, they spend less, which negatively impacts business and retail turnover.

Cause and effect. Our rates are too high.