April 2019 | Sharon Webb
AROUND 50 pensioners and retirees attending a Mole Creek public meeting in March were hostile to Meander Valley Council’s proposed new rubbish and recyclables collection for rural areas. Mole Creek pensioner Keith Cole stated the majority view: he does not want to pay more for the privilege of having his rubbish collected. “In Queensland I paid $4,000 a year in rates,” he said.
“I came here to get away from that. Here I pay $400.” Another woman who lives on a rural road just outside Mole Creek said: “It doesn’t fit, I don’t want to pay for something I don’t need or want and haven’t asked for.” But a vote showed eight people attending would like the service.
Peter Sykes who lives in the town centre said he’d like the convenience of the rubbish collection because it’s a problem for him to go to the tip. Robyn Grace and Ellen Scott also supported the proposal. The public meeting was arranged by Mole Creek Ratepayers Association president Trudy Richards and addressed by council director of infrastructure, Dino De Paoli, who gave a run-down of current operations. Mr De Paoli explained that councillors had suggested the collection to give equity to rural residents and cut illegal rubbish dumping.
He said of 400 ratepayer responses to the collection proposal, 330 had been against it and only 60 in favour. Of 272 Mole Creek ratepayers, 50 (18 per cent) had voiced their response: 43 against it and seven in favour. Council’s general manager Martin Gill wrote to “rural households in accessible areas”, telling them the proposed service would begin July to September 2019. It would cost an extra $206 a year. Meeting attendees voiced their suspicions about the letter from the council.
Mr De Paoli replied that a decision needed to be made soon for budget reasons.