Saturday, 18 June 2016


People living in retirement villages and other aged care facilities should be very concerned about recent developments at Launceston's Council. 

Not satisfied with the fact that Launceston's rates are already the highest in Tasmania it seems that a group of aldermen and council's operational wing are forming a cabal led by Ald. Hugh McKenzie to investigate the ways council might extract extra rates from Launceston's retirement villages etc.

As Launceston's ratepayers know their rates are already $300 to $500 more than they might be given what's known about the rates that apply across the state. 

It appears that 'the McKenzie cabal' will be delivering a report to council as to how more money can be extracted from Launcestonians via the collection of rates from charitable institutions' properties.

The process that appears to be the one being followed is not one where residents and ratepayers get to be consulted in any meaning way. Almost for certain it'll depend upon so-called social media and other subterranean research techniques that will generate an outcome that'll appear out of the blue on some convenient council agenda without any prior reporting in the press – such as it is these days.

Rather, it appears that 'the McKenzie cabal' will proffer a proposal to council and almost without a whimper it can be expected that 'the aldermen' will fall into line and hand the task over to the operational wing of council. 

BINGO! The job will done and the residents of aged care facilities will join other Launcestonians in the 'rate churn' designed to grow the empires under the control of council's operational wing.

It's time to call the 'the McKenzie cabals' bluff and head it of at the pass. Council has demonstrated it slack of enthusiasm to do anything with its constituency – rather it appears to be hell bent on doing it to them.

The petition that is being promoted at the moment is the first step in calling council to book, and in particular 'the McKenzie cabal', and getting the council back on to the accountability track. For more information about the petition please contact Basil Fitch - PH 6344 2688


  • Retirement villages rates report for Launceston Council  CLICK HERE

  • City of Launceston council passes rates changes CLICK HERE

  • Charitable institutions rates motion CLICK HERE


  1. Isn't it a contradication on the part of Alderman Hugh McKenzie to be pushing for retirement villages residents to pay rates when he, Hugh Mckenzie, supports giving the university land for free and the university doesn't even pay rates!! Does the university pay rates on its student accommodation either at Newnham or the new blot on the landscape, that abomination at Inveresk?
    If Hugh McKenzie wants aged care retirement villages to pay rates, then he should also be pushing for the university and its student accommodation to pay rates!


  2. It's pretty clear that the Council is a corrupt institution that leaks millions into the pockets of its various mates, as well as its own. A tidey problem alright. It's budget reports are vague and misleading; it has no clear objectives; there is no independent mechanism to deal with ratepayer complaints; its operations are secretive; even its General Manager's qualifications for the job are 'confidential'! The game within is to keep growing the overall budget no matter what - it's the only way to keep the salaries of the staff increasing. There's no sign of professional management, just bluster, bullying and denial.