THERE is nothing that demonstrates the importance of responsible voting more than a council budget.
Unlike state and federal budgets, with their airy fairy four-year forward estimates and tax slugs and levies that you don’t always immediately appreciate, the pain of a council budget is instantly clear.
A great big fat rate and water rise to slap you in the face and remind you of the power a bunch of strangers have over your bank account.
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I don’t know why we all act so shocked each year when another rate rise is announced.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a rate reduction.
Mayor Tom Tate says he feels the pain of all those Gold Coasters who are already struggling to pay their rates.
I believe him.
Just because he is a millionaire last photographed in polo gear at a swish social event doesn’t mean he has no empathy.
Like every conservative state and federal leader swept into power after a Labor stint of government, he feels it is unfair to blame him for the tough decisions he has had to make in the budget.
He instead blames the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the carbon tax and the failed water provider Allconnex.
But he left out the construction of a new cultural centre we obviously can’t afford and the soaring cost of planning and convincing voters of the need for a great big bloody development on the Broadwater.
Blaming past governments is all very well if they are at fault.
Just don’t promise during election campaigns – as they all do – to lower the cost of living when you know very well it is not going to be possible.
This is why voters have to become more responsible in who they choose to represent them at a local, state and federal level.
Believe me, I know politics can be dull and infuriating but ignoring it will not mean it will just go away.
We have been stuck in the past with too many leaders who got the top job just because they had the most recognisable name or spent the most on campaign advertising.
Make sure you know who you are electing to spend our money.
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