LETTER: Ratepayers Victoria here to help the council

RATEPAYERS Victoria-Mildura branch (RVMB) appreciate Cr Clemence making public comment on ratepayers’ concerns and would like to keep the discussion alive.

Respecting Cr Clemence’s view, we wish to comment on commentary before his period as mayor and even before his period as a councillor.

Ratepayers have been berated and ridiculed, accused of lies, misinformation and worse without their accusers ever substantiating their claims.

We are happy to be corrected if we are wrong, though this has not happened to this point.

While Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) claim its area is 22,000 sq km, approximately half of that area is national park and the vast majority of the remainder is dryland farming properties. 

So previous comments that MRCC services an area of 22,000sq km is not only incorrect, it would appear to be deliberately misleading.

What is the actual area MRCC does service? Is it 2000sq km? Whatever it is, it is a mere fraction of the 22,000sq km continually quoted.

The reference to libraries and swimming pools seems equally misleading.

MRCC has closed the Irymple Library and the mobile library that serviced outlying communities.

So a reduction in libraries and with pools now run under contract, where is the increased cost?

We believe it is obvious that MRCC’s ever increasing costs are mainly due to their refusal to address costs within the council and until this is acknowledged and challenged by our elected representatives, nothing will change.

RVMB and parent body Ratepayers Victoria have the expertise within their membership to assist councillors in understanding budgets and financial matters and would welcome the opportunity to work with councillors in an effort to achieve better outcomes for ratepayers. 

Phil Douglass, 

Ratepayers Victoria-Mildura branch

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