Head rejects rate rumours

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

John Peters has hit back at claims he should not be president of Port Hedland Ratepayers Association amid claims he doesn’t meet essential criteria for presidency.

Since his election as president, Mr Peters’ path has been surrounded by controversy as locals claim he does not pay rates, asking how he can then be president.

Mr Peters denied the “unfortunate” rumours and said he did in fact pay rates and had for several years.

“So ratepayers, as per my understanding, is any person who is paying house rates, who is paying water rates, who is paying electorate rates,” he said.

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“For the last three years myself and my wife have paid rates and I’ve been in the ratepayers’ association as committee member.

“At that time when I was simply a committee member whoever is raising objections now should have raised them then.”

Armed with the constitution, Mr Peters highlighted section 23 of the Port Hedland Associations Incorporations Act 1987, which states: “The interpretation of the Constitution, Rules and By-Laws of the Association shall be in the sole determination of the Executive Committee whose decision shall, until set aside by a General Meeting, be binding on all members.”

From this, Mr Peters said, with the support of the association committee members’ interpretation, he was qualified and met the criteria to stand as president.

Association media spokesman Arnold Carter said the group was in the process of redefining its constitution to ensure going forward it would be clearer and more defined.

“We had a professional advise us who came back saying the terms were very loose, there was no definition on whether rates were property, water or council rates,” he said.

“The new proposal will include the definition of a ratepayer is not specific to the Town of Port Hedland and shire rates.

“That will be completely taken out but the proposal will be to the ratepayers and residents.”

Currently the proposal is in the process of being submitted for consideration and amendment to the Department of Commerce for verification, according to Mr Carter.

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