Business

Strelow slams Aurizon for not paying rates

Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow said rail company Aurizon should pay land rates to councils in the state.
Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow said rail company Aurizon should pay land rates to councils in the state. Allan Reinikka ROK09061616abudge

ROCKHAMPTON Region Mayor Margaret Strelow has suggested council should give "strong support" to a motion from the Local Government Association of Queensland for Aurizon to pay land rates.

Speaking during the infrastructure committee meeting, Cr Strelow said the rail company couldn't "have it both ways" and remain exempt from paying rates while not being classified as a government body.

If Aurizon was forced to pay rates on its properties could provide the council with hundreds of thousand of dollars in extra annual revenue.

Councillors were discussing a proposal from Aurizon, which made $72m last financial year, to close a number of rail crossings in the region, including one on Cowan St at Gogango.

The railway crossing gives access to a group of properties owned by the same person from the Capricorn Hwy.

A report tabled to council states closing the crossing would require a new access from either Cowan St or Ohl Rd, with both options 2.8km from the crossing.

Given it is private access to a single property, council policies require the owner to construct and maintain road access.

Both council and Aurizon have consulted with the property owner, who is "not happy with the closure as this will mean additional time to access the property and travel distance on an unsealed road".

The request comes as Aurizon approaches council about closing several crossings with low usage, safety issues or in need of major upgrades.

"In each of the cases, it has been the issues of safety for the railway that has formed the decision to close," the report states.

"In all cases, Aurizon has stated that it is council's responsibility to fund the upgrade or alternate access that is required."

The council report concluded it was reasonable to expect Aurizon reinstate an alternate access for the Cowan St property, given it is imposing on the owner and achieving a reduction in risk profile and cost saving by closing the crossing.

Aurizon has argued each block should already have legal access from a public road, but the owner does have access from an unformed road reserve.

"Council staff's view is that the property has been getting access through the railway crossing for numerous years and since Aurizon is changing this, then Aurizon should either upgrade the railway crossing or provide an alternate access point to the driveway of the property," the report stated.

Councillors agreed with this view, voting in accordance with this recommendation.

Councillors also resolved to organise a meeting with Aurizon about the closing of and safety issues at various crossings in the region.

Aurizon responded to council's comments on Tuesday afternoon, saying it paid council rates, charges and levies on all corporate land held throughout Queensland.

"The rail corridor is owned by the Queensland Government and leased to Aurizon," the statement said.

"Existing and new rail corridor is specifically exempt from Council rates under Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld).

"This exemption also applies to other state government infrastructure such as airports, roads and strategic port land."

Topics:  aurizon rates rockhampton regional council



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Jobs galore for dive site off Bundaberg coast

Ex-HMAS Tobruk.

Major work for locals to get tourism to sea bed

Five things you need to know this weekend

THIS SUNDAY: Maree and Peter Barone have introduced the Artisan Collective at the Shalom Markets.

Fun doesn't need to be out of your reach today and tomorrow

Last day of school year for Queensland students

SCHOOL'S OUT: Bundaberg North State School students Ash-lee Clarke, Sophie Harbourne, Jayne Wake, Vanessa Van Rooigen, Latoya Sullivan and Brae Burgess ready for the Christmas Holidays.

Kids jump for joy as break comes along

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!