The Nationals WA have this week voted to disallow changes to local government vehicle licensing concessions in the Legislative Council.
The disallowance motion will prevent the State Government removing a concession which allowed local governments to pay a lower rate to license their vehicles.
Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Martin Aldridge MLC said the changes would disproportionately harm regional local governments with more vehicles and larger geographic areas to cover.
“As they have to license more vehicles, regional local governments would have borne the brunt of increased vehicle licensing fees,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Local governments in my electorate have written to me expressing their concern that rates could rise by up to 10 per cent as a result of this change.
“Given the uncertainty the Labor Government has created around Royalties for Regions, The Nationals want to give local governments certainty around these concessions.”
Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Colin de Grussa MLC said the removal of the concession would simply add to the burden of local government, which would be passed on to rate payers.
“Labor Governments have a tendency to neglect regional areas, in particular regional local government,” Mr de Grussa said.
“This fee hike on Local Government failed to recognise the role that Local Governments in Western Australia as significant owners and maintainers of the road network.
“Local Governments in my electorate are doing it tough, particularly after a string of natural disaster events which have caused significant damage to the road network which they continue to grapple with.”
Mr Aldridge said it was disappointing regional Labor MPs not only support the fee increase, but also tried to prevent the debate on the disallowance before July 1, when the increase was due to take effect.