The Andrews Labor Government has acted today on its commitment to introduce a fair rates capping system, appointing the Essential Services Commission (ESC) to provide advice on the framework.

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino said the approach would ensure transparency and sustainability in rate increases for residents in Monbulk electorate.

As part of its inquiry, the ESC will consult widely with local councils, as well as peak bodies such as the Municipal Association of Victoria, Victorian Local Governance Association and LGPro.

Additionally, the ESC will regularly consult with a sector panel established by the Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins.

James Merlino said the ESC will publish a draft report, with local governments and other interested parties invited to comment.

A final framework report along with draft guidance material will be provided to the Minister for Finance and Minister for Local Government by 31 October 2015.

The Labor Government made an election commitment to cap council rates at the rate of inflation, keeping them in check with the cost of living.

Quotes attributable to James Merlino

“Monbulk electorate residents shouldn’t get a shock when they open their rates notice. This is about ensuring council rates are fair and reflect the needs of our community.”

“Our plan means more accountability in the way councils increase their rates, as well as promoting greater sustainability in the sector.”