8 August: Scenic Rim Regional Council is calling on the Local Government Association of Queensland to lobby the Queensland Government on key issues of concern to Council and Scenic Rim residents.
Scenic Rim Regional Council is calling on the Local Government Association of Queensland to lobby the Queensland Government on key issues of concern to Council and Scenic Rim residents.
At its Ordinary Meeting this week, Council endorsed four motions for submission to the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) for consideration at its Annual Conference to be held in Cairns in October 2019.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the frequency of land valuations, eligibility for Works For Queensland funding, the calculation of Financial Assistance Grants and the loss of infrastructure charges in State Development Areas were key issues for the Scenic Rim that Council had put forward for consideration at the LGAQ conference.
Council has proposed that the LGAQ requests the Queensland Government to amend the Land Valuation Act 2010 to ensure property valuations for rating purposes are carried out annually to minimise extreme valuation fluctuations resulting in significant rates increases.
"The current system of three-year valuations is broken," Cr Christensen said.
"Last year's valuations caused considerable distress in our community, with some valuations increasing by upwards of 80 per cent and many examples of inconsistent valuations.
"Annual valuations would be fairer, allowing residents and councils to adapt to variability in sub-sets of their local markets."
Council has also proposed that the LGAQ requests that the Queensland Government redefine the eligibility criteria for its Works For Queensland program which, in 2019-21, will provide a total of $200 million for some regional councils to undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects.
"Scenic Rim Regional Council and similar South East Queensland regional councils are currently excluded from this program which denies access to an alternative funding source to assist in meeting the needs of our community," Cr Christensen said.
The LGAQ has also been asked to request the State Government reconsider previous conference resolutions which called for an alternative calculation method for the Queensland distribution of the Australian Government's Financial Assistance Grants.
"The current formula has a number of failings, including the reliance on five-year average land valuations and guaranteed allocations for larger high-growth councils which result in outcomes that disadvantage many smaller councils and do not properly consider the post-amalgamation imbalance between infrastructure burden and revenue generation that has occurred," Cr Christensen said.
"Compared with other Category 3 councils, Scenic Rim is a significantly poorer relation under the current scheme, receiving funding 60 per cent below the average.
"The impact on our revenue-raising capacity by being excluded from the Works For Queensland funding and our treatment under Financial Assistance Grants means that we have to rely more heavily on rates income than other councils."
Scenic Rim Regional Council is also concerned by the loss of infrastructure charges in State Development Areas and has proposed that the LGAQ requests that Economic Development Queensland partner with local government and relevant utility providers to develop alternatives and identify a preferred solution.
"The loss of infrastructure charges is another issue that impacts our ability to continue to maintain the level of infrastructure expected by residents and visitors to our region," Cr Christensen said.
"Advocacy on behalf of the community is a key part of council's role and the LGAQ Annual Conference provides an opportunity to engage with all Queensland local governments around issues that have broad impact as well as affecting our region."
Published: 8 August 2019