$50,000 of rates waived

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Francesca Mann

The Murchi­son Re­gion Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion has won a $50,000 rates con­ces­sion from the City of Greater Ger­ald­ton af­ter putting its case to the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

The tri­bunal be­came in­volved when the coun­cil de­nied the cor­po­ra­tion’s re­quest ear­lier this year to have rates waived on its 59 prop­er­ties, an ap­pli­ca­tion made on grounds it was deemed a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The City then agreed to ne­go­ti­ate with the cor­po­ra­tion, which re­quested the $50,000 con­ces­sion on prop­er­ties for the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

Rates for fu­ture years will be sub­ject to ne­go­ti­a­tion.

Coun­cil­lors voted 8-3 in favour of grant­ing the rates con­ces­sion at their meet­ing in Mullewa on Tues­day.

Last week, the City’s di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate and com­mer­cial ser­vices Rob Davis said if the mat­ter was left to de­ter­mi­na­tion by law, the City would be forced to re­fund more than $80,000.

Cr Vic­tor Tanti said he sup­ported the mo­tion even though he be­lieved the con­ces­sion should not be given.

“Only fight the bat­tles you can win,” he said.

Crs Michael Ray­mond, David Caud­well and Graeme By­lund voted against the mo­tion.

The City is ex­pected to make sub­mis­sions to the Gov­ern­ment to amend the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act’s def­i­ni­tion of char­i­ta­ble pur­pose.

Pic­ture: Francesca Mann

The Mullewa District Of­fice.

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