Approval to consult on changes

Changes to the rating system for farmers, bed and breakfast businesses and lifestyle blocks were approved for consultation, despite concerns from Cr John Bezett more consultation should have already been done.

The changes would have bed and breakfast establishments being charged a flat $500 targeted rate to go towards tourism and economic development, lifestyle blocks paying residential rates if Quotable Value listed them as such, and the percentage of the general rate paid for farmland reduce over a nine-year period.

Cr Bezett said businesses should have been consulted already, or there was a danger of a backlash similar to that which occurred when the parking strategy was introduced.

But Cr Dave Cull said the changes were a response to requests from within the tourism and farming industries.

Cr Chris Staynes said there was still time for people with concerns to contact the working party that dealt with the issue before consultation began.

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