EDITORIAL: How the levee benefits most of the ratepayers
THE main issue with South Rockhampton levee bank detractors appears to be the increase in land valuations for the 1500 property owners who will directly benefit from the project.
There doesn't seem to be too many worried about the unsubstantiated safety concerns, which is a relief considering how much false information has been spread around in an amateurish fear campaign. It's too bad it can't be used as fertiliser.
But have those opposed to the levee on the valuation grounds considered the equalising effect the increased value of protected properties will have on overall residential rates?
All ratepayers outside the levee bank area will benefit from the rates going up in Depot Hill and sections of Rockhampton City and Allenstown.
Sure there are some folk who would prefer keeping the swamp tag for the cheaper rates, but will a rate increase of say $200 a year force them out?
If it does, perhaps they can offset moving costs with a $30,000 windfall in property value.
I feel sorry for those caught up in this area of the debate but when a city moves forward it's inevitable some will be left behind.
It happens as communities invest in their future, making responsible improvements designed to enhance the local economy and liveability.
I'm advised that Capricornia MP Michelle Landry's office has received 150 complaints about the levee with many of these allegedly upset about having to pay for the council's anticipated contribution of $5million. Compare this reaction to the state-funded North Rockhampton levee that now protects 400 properties. I haven't heard of one complaint about their windfall.
Yet for $28 a year over five years South Rockhampton levee detractors would deny the city this incredible opportunity.