A claim by some Liberal candidates that heavy vehicles would now be excluded from licence concession cuts is insufficient and will still deliver an unacceptable impact on Councils and their communities.
Following the sector campaign against the cuts that could add $10 million to rates, Eyre MLA Dr Graham Jacobs issued a media release with comments from the Local Government Minister suggesting heavy vehicles would be excluded.
However the WA Local Government Association is of the view that for this revised position to have any credibility it would need to be confirmed by the Transport Minister or the Premier.
WALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie said the change to exclude all Local Government vehicles had already been gazetted and now claiming that some vehicles may be reinstated was inadequate.
“To exempt heavy vehicles from the decision will not resolve this cost shifting issue, as they comprise just a portion of a Local Government’s working fleet,” Cr Craigie said.
“This does not take into consideration the many light vehicles required to carry out Local Government business such as ranger, inspection and gardens works vehicles.”
Cr Craigie said she also needed to respond to inaccurate recent comments by the Minister for Local Government that WALGA had not contacted him prior to launching the sector campaign.
In fact WALGA wrote to the Local Government Minister on January 18 requesting a meeting on the issue, a copy of which has been now included on the Association’s
to provide the public with clarity on this point.
“WALGA made every effort to communicate but were given no advice from government prior to this decision and for the Minister to now claim he was not consulted is incredulous,” Cr Craigie said.
“The Minister for Transport ignored our repeated requests for a meeting following the announcement and WALGA has been advocating for change ever since.
“The fact is, the State Government tried for a quick cash grab, it’s been caught out and now candidates are trying to salvage a situation that only the future government can fix.
“Anything other than a full reversal of the cuts is unacceptable.”