Recently I received in the mail an envelope from Byron Shire Council containing a brochure advocating a special rate increase and a return addressed survey. This letter does not canvass the important issues regarding a special rate variation (SRV) rather it is to express dismay at the disingenuous nature of the survey.
The survey encouraged ratepayers to elect between three options. Each available option was for a different special rate increase. Missing from the available options was the option of no special rate increase. Presumably ratepayers who wished to indicate that preference were required to make it known in the ‘comments’ box.
In addition, the options available were accompanied by the leading descriptions of ‘deteriorate’, ‘maintain’ or ‘improve’.
I wonder what result council wants from the survey?
A meaningful survey should be balanced and neutral as to the outcome. The survey I received was not and therefore any result favouring a SRV will be of very limited (if any) assistance to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal or more importantly to we ratepayers.
David Giddy, Byron Bay