An average outlook

DESPITE some criticism from councillors, Latrobe City’s change in rates is below the Gippsland municipality average.

Last week, Latrobe City councillors voted to adopt the 2012-13 budget which included a 5.77 per cent rate rise.

Municipal Association of Victoria councillor Bill McArthur said as the economy had slowed, Victorian councils were under more strain to increase community services to meet local needs.

“Council budgets must also address cost pressures not included in the Cost Index such as growing service demands, declining government funding and rising state levies, Cr McArthur said.

“When money is tight, we tend to see a higher reliance on free and low cost council services and programs.”

The MAV 2012-13 Victorian Local Government Rates Survey displayed average figures including rates, municipal charges and garbage charges per head of population.