Ratepayers’ levy to aid our rivers?

NECMA public talks reveal pain of 40% funding cut

WE’RE LISTENING: North East Catchment Management Authority’s Lachlan Campbell (left) and Peter Sacco listening to about a dozen people at their ‘catchment conversations’ gathering in Wangaratta last week. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

A LEVY added to all Rural City of Wangaratta property owners’ annual rates would help pay for river health and maintenance.

This was one of numerous views spoken about at North East Catchment Management Authority’s (NECMA) ‘Catchment Conversations’ session in Wangaratta last week.

Water trading expert Bruce Diffey expressed his view that ratepayers could help bridge the gap coming from reduced government funding and spending on river health in the municipality.

“About $15-$20 from every ratepayer could help keep the river system healthy and maintained,” Mr Diffey said.

He also suggested that a percentage of Goulburn Murray Water’s extraction charge of about $760 for 100mgl for regulated water could go to the CMA or the rural city.

NECMA told the conversation that it has been dealt a 40 percent funding cut, which has resulted in a scale back of staff of 30 percent.

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