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Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Rates strike

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In a letter published in The Echo on August 7 this year I wrote ‘If Council is unable to understand public safety or the millions of dollars in damage to our cars every year, perhaps they will understand a rates strike’.

I have recently received a reminder notice for my unpaid August rates instalment, and would like you to explain why I should pay my rates when Council is unable or unwilling to maintain the roads that I depend on in a safe and fit-for-use condition.

I acknowledge that Council has been repairing potholes in places, but the work seems to be haphazard and random. For example, potholes have been repaired at both ends of Myocum Road, but a number of potholes in the middle, near the intersection with Possum Shoot Road and Kennedys Lane, have not been repaired and presumably won’t be until the next round of repairs, possibly in several months.

Similarly, potholes on much of Main Arm Road were repaired a week or two after residents painted them white, but that only went as far as the Palmwoods turnoff. Potholes at Upper Main Arm beyond that turnoff have not been repaired, and similarly I presume won’t be for several months.

We also have safety issues every year with Council’s failure to properly maintain roadside vegetation, allowing grass to grow up to 2m high right to the edge of the narrow bitumen road on bends and causeway approaches. despite Customer Requests, emails, phone calls and submissions to Council meetings.

It seems that if you live more than a certain distance from town you are treated as a second class ratepayer, but still of course expected to pay your rates on time.

Please explain why I should pay my rates when Council does not supply some of the services which these rates are supposed to cover, such as safe and fit-for-use roads.

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