Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei


    Government appoints valuation review committee

    9/01/2001 5:47 PM

    Local Government Minister Paul Omodei has appointed Mr Jon Hanson, a businessman of Henley Brook, as chairman of a committee to review the basis for determining whether non-urban land should be rated on unimproved valuation (UV) or gross rental valuation (GRV).

    Other members of the committee are Wayne Scheggia, of WAMA, Duncan Watson and Tim Fowler, of the Department of Local Government, Cr Neil Walker, a farmer of Brookton, and Ed Tait, a banker and businessman of Busselton.

    Mr Omodei has also invited local governments, organisations and individuals to make submissions to the committee. Submissions should be forwarded to the Department of Local Government by February 2.

    The Minister said that under the Local Government Act land predominantly used for rural purposes was rated on unimproved value and land used predominantly for non-rural purposes was rated on gross rental value.

    There was no definition of ‘rural’ and problems were arising because of mixed use or because ‘non traditional’ rural uses were being introduced.

    The spread of activities such as vineyards, cellar door sales, restaurants and holiday accommodation on rural properties was bringing the problem to a head.

    The problem was most apparent in South-West shires such as Busselton, Augusta-Margaret River and Nannup, but it was likely to spread as more land owners diversified their activities.

    There was also concern that some councils may take the view that plantation timber was not a rural use and seek to apply a GRV.

    The application of a GRV to a rural holding could have a serious financial impact, but at the same time councils needed to be able to rate with equity when the activities on a small rural holding were not fundamentally different from similar activities in non-rural parts of the shire.

    The review would:
    • consider the existing law;
    • examine ways in which differential rating powers and other discretionary rating mechanisms could assist local governments to achieve rating equity;
    • recommend appropriate consultation processes when changes were planned; and -
    • suggest matters to be included in guidelines to local governments considering the valuation base for properties.

    It was expected that the review would make the processes adopted by councils and the outcomes more transparent, accountable and consistent.

    Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700