Stop Rate Capping in Local Gov

Current Campaigns : Stop Rate Capping in Local Gov
Stop Rate Capping in Local Gov

When Steven Marshall won the South Australian election in March 2018, we knew that the Liberal’s would pursue their key election policy to ‘Cap Council Rates’ within the first 100 days of Government.

While rate capping seems like a good idea on paper, in reality, we know that it doesn’t work.

The Liberals touted rate capping as the magical solution to rising cost of living pressures.

The fact is Council rates comprise less than 4% of total tax paid within our communities. And according to the ABS, South Australia had the second lowest increase in Council rates in Australia between 2006-2016.

ASU members working in Local Government strongly oppose the introduction of rate capping because it leads to

  • cuts in local services
  • a reduction in local jobs
  • a reduction in new infrastructure
  • maintenance back logs
  • an increase in Council fees and charges
  • more red tape and bureaucracy

We know this to be true because this is exactly what has happened interstate and overseas wherever rate capping has been introduced.

So shortly after the election, ASU members began campaigning to block the introduction of rate capping in South Australia.

It really was a David vs Goliath battle, with the new Liberal Government claiming a mandate to introduce their populist policy. The odds were stacked against us with the media and shock jocks helping run the Liberal’s agenda.

We launched a campaign to talk about our work, and the valuable services ASU members provide local communities. It was a chance to remind everyone that Councils are more than just rates, roads and rubbish collections.

The services our members provide are the heart of a community – local sporting grounds, community centres, swimming pools, libraries and technology hubs, youth centres, aged care assistance, health promotion and vaccination services, outdoor parks and gardens, playgrounds, dog parks, art centres, jetties, walking trails, street parties and festivals…

With all these services under threat, our Local Government members came together to campaign like never seen before. We campaigned in our local communities, in supermarkets, in pubs, in the media, online, and in Parliament. The ASU team worked alongside the AWU, Council CEOs, Mayors, elected members and the LGA, finding common ground through the campaign.

Despite being told by many people in both Local and State Government that we could never win this campaign, by mid-November we had created enough interest

After nearly a year of intense campaigning by ASU members, the Bill is now as good as dead. We will remain vigilant to ensure it remains this way.