Home' The Bunyip : July 30th 2014 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Page 17
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WHILE I want to be aware of what's
happening in the world at some level, I find
that I just can't keep absorbing the images of
death, destruction and sorrow that seem to
make up the news these days.
Watching the news is downright depressing.
We can become desensitised to death and
destruction because it is covered in the media
every single day.
Not just at 6pm either, you can access scenes
of horror and sadness 24/7 from the palm of
Perhaps the news should be rated, like violent
video games are.
Scenes of body bags, distraught families and
destroyed lives leave the same imprint in our
As a society we risk losing our compassion
because of the deluge.
It's too easy to disengage because wars have
always been, and will always be.
The human cost seems irrelevant, because it is
all about winning.
Our politicians love tragedies, though.
It is a contest to see who can convey the
most sympathy and score more political points
through their 'chest puffing'.
What a poor example they set.
In the book 'The Road', the Father tells his son
not to look at a dead person. When the son asks
why, the Father replies "what you look at stays in
your mind forever". How true those words are.
I don't want to become a Luddite (yet!), but
I need to be more mindful of the images I am
To keep my sanity I have to acknowledge the
negative, and actively choose to focus on the
positive news. It's out there somewhere.
If something big happens in the world,
someone will tell me.
No news is good news
In my opinion...
IWOULD like to present some
information on Gawler business
rates and related matters
following The Bunyip 23 July
editorial and article "Council: It's
There was not a "25 per cent increase
in rates on commercial premises" in
Gawler in 2013-14 (as described by
Gawler Business Development Group's
For almost all businesses in the town
centre and smaller businesses outside the
town centre rates paid rose by about five
per cent - the same as the rate rise for
For some larger businesses outside the
town centre rates paid rose by more than
five per cent.
A small number rose by 25 per cent
as a result of the equalisation of rates
with the town centre and tiered rating
for commercial sectors introduced in
For 10 years before 2012-13,
businesses in the town centre paid a
higher differential rate of 63 per cent
compared with counterparts outside the
This started in about 2002 when the
council changed from site values to
capital values for rating.
The effect of this change, and
removing the then 40 per cent
differential rate on business ratepayers,
was to reduce the rates for business
-- by about 40 per cent on average
for commercial- and 60 per cent for
To offset this change, the council at
the time, after discussion with town
centre traders, moved to build the multi-
level car park in Finniss Street, and set
in place the 63 per cent differential rate
only on town centre businesses intended
to cover a 15-year loan to build the new
The extra town centre rate did not
pay for the maintenance or depreciation
of the car park -- this was paid by all
In 2002 there were relatively few,
mostly small, commercial premises
outside the town centre.
The Gawler Homemaker Centre,
Evanston, the racecourse commercial
rezoning and the Gawler East DPA (with
a potential large commercial centre)
changed all that.
It seemed unfair in 2012 to have town
centre businesses paying 63 per cent
higher rates than similar businesses in
these other centres.
In good faith, others thought that
the 63 per cent higher rate for the town
centre should continue until the 15 years
The other change in 2012-13 was
tiered rates for businesses via a system of
Differential rates were set at 20 per
cent for small business (valuation less
than $0.5 million -- covering two thirds
of town centre businesses and three
quarters of businesses outside town
The tiered rate rose to 100 per cent
for big businesses (valuation over $5
million) -- a handful of businesses, like
The sort of businesses that have
greater capacity to pay and sometimes a
bigger impact on council spending -- e.g.
over $1million spent upgrading Julian
Terrace, Reid Street and Light Square in
recent years to cater for heavy trucks.
Gawler Council rates are relatively
high -- but more so for residential and
rural sectors rather than commercial
rates compared to neighbouring
I appreciate that people have different
views about rating in Gawler.
But it is essential when comparing
figures for rates between councils to
compare a rate paid for an average
property in each council.
If councils collect the same dollars
per resident, then obviously, rates in
the dollar will be adjusted to allow for
the much higher house or business
valuations in councils such as Burnside
Rates are not a system of tax that is
easy to work with.
But most Gawler businesses are
paying lower rates than in neighbouring
And council has been spending a good
deal of money and effort on upgrading
of infrastructure and other support for
Having good conditions for business
in Gawler involves a range of matters
and interest groups.
Having good relations between
council and businesses is an important
Personally, I have worked in family
businesses in the area for quite a few
Most other elected members similarly.
* Note: Views and calculations in this
letter are Cr Shackley's, not council's.
GAWLER COUNCIL ELECTED MEMBER ADRIAN SHACKLEY
RESPONDS TO CLAIMS FROM THE GAWLER BUSINESS
DEVELOPMENT GROUP THAT LOCAL BUSINESS NEEDS GREATER
SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING FROM THE COUNCIL.
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