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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Heatwave to continue for days as temps top 40 in some areas

Beachgoers cool down at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Temperatures have hit 46 degrees Celsius in parts of outback Queensland today, with a heatwave predicted for the state's central and southern regions.(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Outback towns scorching under the Friday afternoon sun

Police reveal gender of discovered corpse

Police are investigating the discovery of human remains at Glen Aplin.

Police reveal startling information about corpse found by public

REVEALED: Ipswich to host Broncos in pre-season clash

IPSWICH BOUND: Broncos star Anthony Milford in action. The Broncos are set to play the Ipswich Jets at North Ipswich Reserve on February 11 next year.

Bennett's boys set to light up North Ipswich Reserve on February 11

Local Partners

Family of slain grandfather welcomes guilty plea

A YOUNG man faces the prospect of life in jail after pleading guilty to the senseless fatal attack of Ipswich grandfather Lindsay Ede

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!