COUNCIL PENSIONER CONCESSION CUTS COULD BE BLOCKED

SA’s Local Government Association has welcomed the announcement by the Liberal Opposition, Greens, Family First and Independents, that they will disallow any change to pensioner concessions on Council rates, in the Legislative Council.

LGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin said the LGA’s legal advice was that regulations would need to be changed for the State to cut the concessions.

“The Association has copped some flak for speaking out on behalf of pensioners. I make no apology for that,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.

“Putting heat on politicians in the interests of communities is what we do – and we thank Steven Marshall for responding to our campaign and finding one possible solution to the problem, which is to disallow any changes to regulations which would permit the Government to scrap concessions for pensioners, part pensioners and self-funded retirees.

“While the Government has yet to introduce any associated regulation into the Parliament, if the State Government determines to go down that path, we will fully support the initiative by the Liberals, Greens, Family First and Independents to disallow the regulations.”

“The Disallowance Motion, when passed by Legislative Council, would put the ball right back into State Government hands. Under current Parliamentary procedure, the Government could reintroduce the regulations the next sitting day just for the process to repeat itself. It will be Groundhog Day on North Terrace.”

The SA Government had flagged it would scrap pensioner concessions on Councils rates with a saving of $32.4m in response to a Federal cut of $27.7m in funding for concessions.

This will mean an annual loss of $190 to pensioners and $100 to self-funded retirees and other concession card holders.

“Our job is to speak out for communities, their local infrastructure and service needs and for those with specific needs such as pensioners.

“We will not resile from launching future campaigns for issues or budget cuts that impact negatively on our communities.