Sir – Recently we received a rates notice from the MacDonnell Shire for the sum of $788.69 and accompanying it was the statement that if we didn’t pay by a certain date we would be charged interest at 17% per annum, calculated daily. Lyn, my wife, was so annoyed she rang the number on the invoice to see what services the Shire were going to provide us. A man answered, the accent was Indian. Was he based in India?
He told Lyn we would receive street lighting! Obviously the man had a script to follow and was using the spin that we hear often from the Northern Territory Government. Minister McCarthy then tells us that the government is working to make the shires more empowering. How? In the past three years we have never set eyes upon one single MacDonnell Shire employee in our neck of the woods. We generate our own electricity, empty our own bins, take care of the garbage dump, generate our own power, supply our own lighting, grade our own roads and pump our own water – all at an extremely high cost. We, the people of the bush who are self-sufficient should not be paying into this Clayton, obviously revenue raising rate fund. The hub towns too are suffering hardship.
Complaints can be heard every day from people who can barely survive, let alone pay the exorbitant rates. Empowering the people – I don’t think so. Ian Conway Kings Creek Station
ED - The Alice Springs News Online has asked the MacDonnell Shire for a comment.