Latrobe City ratepayers prop up coal industry by $10 million a year

Latrobe City ratepayers should be outraged at another level of subsidy for the coal industry that they are paying, says Greens candidate for the Gippsland by-election, Dr Malcolm McKelvie.

 "When Jeff Kennett privatised the power industry he granted them a 5 year stay on paying the local government rates - the same situation that existed for SECV. For some reason this moratorium has been extended by the State Government ever since. As a result Latrobe City Council is missing out on around $10 million every year.

No prizes for guessing who makes up the shortfall- other rate payers" said Dr McKelvie.

"This is a small amount of money for these big foreign owned companies but it means an extra $100 each year for everyone else. John Brumby promised to heed the call from Latrobe City Council to reverse the decision when he was in opposition but still hasn't done so. What makes it worse is that he did gain an increase in the coal royalty payable to the State government, reaping an extra $12 million per year into the states coffers, while the Latrobe City families are paying the rates of this huge industry."

"Latrobe City ratepayers should be angry with the ALP for not honouring its promises. Once again, another example of old parties favouring big business at the expense of the ordinary family and small business."

"It seems that generous subsidies for looking at the unproven clean coaltechnology are just the latest in a string of tax payer and rate payer gifts tothe coal companies."

For comments Dr Malcolm McKelvie 0417 364 615

Greens Candidate for Gippsland By - Election 2008www.cgn.org.au/Malcolm_McKelvie gippsland@greens.org.au 

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