Rocky Harley-Davidson’s Geoff Trewin is nonplussed by the council charges.
Rocky Harley-Davidson’s Geoff Trewin is nonplussed by the council charges. Allan Reinikka

That's one mighty expensive cup of coffee

GEOFF Trewin is worried that some staff at his Rocky Harley-Davidson store may soon be out of a job after he was hit with an $81,000 bill.

The bill was from the Rockhampton Regional Council for infrastructure charges for his business renovations, despite not making any changes to infrastructure.

"I don't want to be in a position where I have to cut costs because of ridiculous council charges that don't make sense," he said.

 

Last year he built a Stellarossa coffee shop in his business.

Geoff claims a council town planner told him he could complete a self-assessment.

After encountering a problem with the plumbing he went back to the council and was told he needed to make an application for a material change of use.

After putting in a submission Geoff was charged more than $6000 for council to read the document, and then given a bill for $81,567 for infrastructure charges.

"The infrastructure was built here 80 years ago … it used to service army and mining vehicles," Geoff said.

"Almost two thirds of the building was servicing heavy vehicles; now we're using a very small percentage to service motorcycles. There's actually a far less impact on the infrastructure now."

Council chief executive Evan Pardon said infrastructure charges applied to uses, not construction, and consequently a change of use would attract an infrastructure charge irrespective of whether any building works occurred.

Mr Pardon said Geoff was actually charged $172,818 and given a $91,251 credit.

Venture Improvement director Ray Conder said the charges were an impediment to business in the region.

"The charges coming through are not relative to the type of development going on," he said.

"These charges mean only large businesses can meet the commitment."



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