Bass Coast,

Footpath Trading Fees Decision Deferred

Businesses will wait another month for their Footpath Trading Fees, with Bass Coast Shire Council deferring the decision to set new rates at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Cr Jordan Crugnale proposed to defer the motion to give Council more time to provide Councillors with further information about fees in comparison to other councils and to allow the report to include the views of all business groups in the Shire.

Cr Crugnale also requested case studies for how the fees would impact businesses in the current economic climate.

Council will now address the issue at the December Ordinary Meeting.

The fees were first increased after a review of the Local Law in 2012; however, they weren’t applied until July this year.

Council’s Acting Community and Economic Development, Antoinette Mitchell, said the jump in fees had led to protests from the business community.

“In response to concerns, a meeting was held with businesses. Council listened to the concerns raised and declared a moratorium on payment, with a commitment that the fee level would be reviewed and new fees would not be due until 1 January 2014. This has given businesses a five month fee free period.”

Ms Mitchell said that before 2012, the fees had not been changed since 2008.

“In future years, fees will be reviewed annually as part of the budget process, which generally means a CPI increase would be recommended.”