The City of Busselton council unanimously agreed to a 3.95 per cent rate rise at a special meeting on Wednesday when it passed the 2019-20 budget.
Before the meeting took place, former mayor Ian Stubbs and former councillors Gordon Bleachmore, Terry Best and Kevin Strapp addressed the council during public question time.
Mr Stubbs asked the council how many meetings were open to the public where rates were being discussed, before the special meeting took place.
He also asked whether it was possible a rate rise could be kept to less than 1 per cent and whether the council had a willingness to keep the rate rise less than 1 per cent.
Mayor Grant Henley said no meetings were open to the public where rates were being discussed with the council, before the special meeting was held.
He said three sessions were held with council about rates and an agreement had already been made on a rate increase.
Mr Henley said while it would be possible to keep a rate rise less than 1 per cent, it would mean projects, fees and charges would need to be removed from the budget.
He said the 3.95 per cent increase included: 0.5 per cent towards footpaths and cycle ways; 0.5 per cent to improve single lane roads; 0.3 per cent on capital projects and 0.4 per cent on hall funding.
Another 0.3 per cent would be used for new assets, 0.3 per cent to cover finance and borrowing costs and 1.8 per cent would be used for local government costs such as power and water.
Councillor Paul Carter said the council was willing to do whatever it took to minimise an increase in the budget and they did everything they could to keep rates down, but at the end of the day, to live and do business here came at a cost.
The 2019-20 budget was passed 8-nil without council debate.
Some of the major projects in the budget were $12.5 million towards the airport terminal, $1.1 to upgrade the Busselton Senior Citizens Centre and $1.8 million to upgrade Lou Weston Oval.
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