Politician and mayor clash over Shoalwater rates
DISCUSSIONS about the development and expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area have amped up with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry determined to set the record straight as she sees it.
Ms Landry said mayor Bill Ludwig claimed Livingstone Shire Council was losing $2 million a year with land acquisitions reducing rates by $500,000 per annum, and the remaining $1.5 million per annum resulting from the pre-existing Shoalwater Bay Training Area. She disagrees.
“I have been advised that Defence has still not been formally provided an estimate of the potential loss of rates revenue from LSC and therefore cannot comment on this assessment,” Ms Landry said.
“Whatever the loss of rates figure actually is, the expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area will see slightly fewer properties requiring services from the council once the training area is established.
“Cr Ludwig also claimed Defence makes no contribution whatsoever. I don’t know what he is talking about.
“While according to law, the Commonwealth doesn’t pay rates, Defence does contribute and is investing significantly in the shire and Defence activities directly benefit the regional economy.
“Defence provided direct contributions of $10.1 million since 2001, to both Livingstone Shire and Rockhampton Region (noting changes around amalgamation).
“That is an average of over $500,000 per annum, for the maintenance of the council funded roads used by ADF.”
Ms Landry said Defence maintained responsibility for the provision of estate related services in local council areas across Australia. Any exception is paid for on a fee-for-service arrangement.
“Mayor Ludwig claims half of the $900m being invested would be spent on acquiring land ... he couldn’t be more wrong. All of the $900 million will be invested to deliver military training infrastructure.
“Livingstone Shire is important to me and I have fought hard for local projects.”