Coun­cil turns down rates waiver ap­peal on two blocks

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Francesca Mann

A re­quest to waive rates on two un­wanted blocks of land in Mullewa was de­feated at the City of Ger­ald­ton’s or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing last week.

Robert Brooks, di­rec­tor of Brook­min, re­quested the waiver for Lot 24 and Lot 35 Short Street as they are un­saleable.

He is now in the process of ap­ply­ing to have land parcels re­turned to the Crown, where they will be­come ex­empt from rates.

The ex­ec­u­tive rec­om­men­da­tion sug­gested waiv­ing the rates dur­ing the process, not­ing if the ap­pli­ca­tion was un­suc­cess­ful, the lots would be­come rate­able again.

But the mo­tion was de­feated 6-5, with Crs Michael Rey­mond, Steve Dou­glas, Si­mon Keemink, David Caud­well, Graeme By­lund and Mayor Shane Van Styn op­pos­ing the ex­ec­u­tive rec­om­men­da­tion.

Cr Rey­mond said he was not in favour of the mo­tion as it was a “waste of ratepay­ers’ money”.

“He’s bought the land, he’s re­spon­si­ble for the rates,” he said.

“It’s not ap­pro­pri­ate for ratepay­ers to sub­sidise this be­cause some­one doesn’t want to pay the rates.”

Cr Caud­well said he was frus­trated with how many ex­emp­tions the City was hand­ing out. “We’re bleed­ing rates that we’re ask­ing oth­ers to cover,” he said.

The value of the rates on the to­tal prop­er­ties for the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year is $2020.

Cr Lewis Freer, who made the mo­tion, urged the coun­cil to “see rea­son”.

“It’s a triv­ial item, it’s $2000 we’re ar­gu­ing over,” he said.

“Yes, it does build up, but it’s not go­ing away.”

Mr Brooks had pre­vi­ously of­fered to do­nate the blocks to the City, but the City de­clined as they would only be a cost bur­den.

The coun­cil has pre­vi­ously ap­proved rate waivers for un­wanted land in Pin­dar, Mullewa and Tenin­dewa dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion process of re­vert­ing to the Crown.

He’s bought the land, he’s re­spon­si­ble for the rates. It’s not ap­pro­pri­ate for ratepay­ers to sub­sidise this be­cause some­one doesn’t want to pay the rates. Michael Rey­mond

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