LOCAL Patrick Workman has good reason to refute Lake Macquarie City Council's claim that the record number of residents' objections to the council plan for an unprecedented rates hike is the result of a protest group campaign and is not representative.
NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said it had received 1170 signatures in 370 submissions by the close of the submission period on April 20.
IPART program manager Dennis Mahoney said the response from Lake Macquarie residents was "totally unprecedented".
"It literally dwarfed the response to the other councils involved. It is by far the biggest number of objections ever received by IPART in this context," Mr Mahoney said.
Mr Workman's submission alone contained 531 signatures, almost half of the total, and he says every one was from an individual he asked in pubs, clubs, and in the street.
"I'm not a group, just a very angry resident who isn't going to sit back and let council ride roughshod over the community," Mr Workman said.
"I didn't campaign, I just asked people what they thought and if they thought strongly enough about it to sign a petition. I was surprised at how many people didn't know council was planning a rate rise."
Mr Mahoney said IPART had received 370 submissions from Lake Macquarie, of which 68 were published on the IPART website.
"There were 15 councils seeking a rate variation but none of them came anything like even close to Lake Macquarie for the sheer flood of response," Mr Mahoney said.
The IPART panel would review all submissions, petitions and submitted material including media reports.