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This sickens me!!!

Unit owners protest 300% rates hike
Georgina Robinson | June 20, 2008 - 5:26AM


More than 100 angry inner-city apartment dwellers attended a public meeting at City Hall yesterday to protest "unfair" rate hikes in the order of 150 to 300 per cent.

Bill and Toni-Maree Welch, who bought an apartment at Roma Street Parklands four years ago, were among the crowd.

Council staff on Wednesday told Mr Welch his rates would rise from $98 per quarter to nearly $700 per quarter, a jump of more than 500 per cent.

Conflicting figures provided by the Lord Mayor's office showed a smaller but still considerable rise of 309 per cent.

Either way, the couple say they are now considering selling the apartment they bought as their retirement nest-egg after last Wednesday's budget delivered high rates increases.

"We've both worked all our lives, we've had a moderate living, it just angers me when I think about what (Lord Mayor Campbell Newman) has actually done to all of us," Mrs Welch said.

Cr Newman said while he was sorry people were impacted by the increases, all residents should shoulder the financial burden of paying for essential infrastructure and services.

"We've got record capital being spent on our roads and buses and ferries and that's where the money will go," Cr Newman said.

"There are 33,000 owner-occupier residential flats in the city of Brisbane, right across Brisbane, and 85 per cent of them have got a 15 per cent or lower increase."

Cr Newman also called yesterday's meeting, which was organised by Labor councillor for Central ward David Hinchliffe, a political stunt.

"While I respect the fact (residents) are upset about rate increases - and I'll not doubt that they are impacted - they might well be people who are pushing particular political views," he said.

"What's not acceptable is a $1.3 million apartment in Casino Towers paying $391.60 a year in general rates and a house in Inala worth $295,000 paying the same. That's not acceptable and that's why we're dealing with this."

Mrs Welch, who is not a member of any political party, said she and other residents at Roma Street Parklands were not the cashed-up millionaires portrayed by the Lord Mayor.

"We've got a lot of pensioners in our little block of units there, they're lovely old people, and (we have) people who have got a lot of money," she said.

"But by no means can we say that those people are millionaires and they should have to pay all these increases in rates.

"How dare he, people have worked very hard for where they are today."

Cr Newman, who did not attend today's meeting because of a prior commitment, said he was happy to meet with the Unit Owners' Association as well as individual ratepayers.

He maintained the new rates regime, which comes into effect on January 1, 2009, was a fairer way to pay for work that needed to be done in Brisbane.

"People who live in high-rise units use parks, gardens, public transport, expect the grass to be cut and the streets to be swept, just like people in the suburbs and that's what this is about," Cr Newman said.

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The rates in my building have gone upwards just under 800%!!!!!!
 

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This DICKHEAD Newman is going to ruin this city. Our mayor has no idea what he is doing by spending BILLIONS on road projects & tunnels we may not even need in a few years.

Add to the fact that all this money is being borrowed and has to be paid back with interest - at the expense of rate payers. Rate payers pass on expences to renters who intern cannot pay the huge rent increases. That means that these people will either be homeless or displaced to more affordable outer suburbs. Inner suburbs such as New Farm, Fortitude Valley & West End will be changed forever as these people who bring charcter, culture to these suburbs are forced away. New Farm will end up like an inner city Chapel Hill!!

Meanwhile thousands will be homeless and 10s of thousands will move to outer suburbs putting even more pressure on non-existant public transport.

I can see trouble ahead and this is just the begining.

Thanks Campbell Newman - your short sighted ideas to bankrupt Brisbane by building the worlds largest city funded infrastucture project will ruin this city.
Good work - NOT!!


j
 

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I've met Newman a few times, and he has never impressed me. He is not particularly intelligent, prone to incorrect or stupid statement, and even within his own party he is confrontational; to those outside he can be an outright bully. He seems to take diagreement with his (or his party's) policies as a personal affront.

Most of his proposals have been populist at their heart, rather than well thought out. He certainly has a 'dream' and has been effective at communicating that to the masses, though I have personally found him much less convincing in person. They were never going to be as simple or inexpensive as was suggested. Frankly, it has surprised me that he lasted this long with the kind of financially irresponsible actions he has had a tendancy to make.

This situation has only occured because of the instability he has brought on himself. I was well aware that his idea of equity does not match the community's, and this further emphasises the point - people who are not using facilities either at all or as often should not just be paying as much as those who are. I have found his attempts to play down the issue ("they really wont be that significant, not 200%") unconvincing, as i hope other people do, but as the rates wont be sent out for months i fear a lot of people unaffected by this change will have forgotten by that time and Newman may not be serious affected by his actions.
 

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$98 a quarter seems ridiculously low, I would have thought minimum rates would have to be $300 - $400 per quarter - i've never seen rates as low as what was quoted, somethings not quite right here...
 

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"People who live in high-rise units use parks, gardens, public transport, expect the grass to be cut and the streets to be swept, just like people in the suburbs and that's what this is about," Cr Newman said.

This really is one of the dumbest comments I have heard this year.
 

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Before jumping to a conclusion, what would they be paying for in rates in Sydney or Melbourne? Anybody have the figures?
 

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Ok I understand what he is doing... but simply saying that people in the inner city are rich and should pay more is just abhorrent and he has no data to prove that this is the case. I know my family has a few properties that we bought in the 1980's and 1990's that are worth more than $1mil when the value of all are combined, but we don't have a lot of cash floating around!
Instead of increasing it dramatically, why not DECREASE the rates for people in the outer suburbs (Inala etc.)?

In the next council election I am tempted to vote Labor. Our local member is ALP and she does a good job, perhaps the rest of her party will do better than these Liberals...
 

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well with all the bridges hes building and tunnels hes digging.....
 

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i own an apartment in parramatta and the council rates you pay once a year. $650 dollars. strata you pay quaterly and mine is $1000 a quarter.
 

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Sadly we had an election this year so we are stuck with him till 2012.
 

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Well you can see that even DogCancer is still paying more in Parramatta than the example in that story. I mean $98/quarter. That's nothing.

I agree with Newman that people in inner-city apartments have been getting away with paying far too little(not that it's their fault), but I think maybe they should ease this new system in, increasing inner city unit rates by more than the average year by year. Another thing which they could have done is means testing?

We brought in a similar sort of system a couple of years back on the coast, but it was based upon which floor your apartment is on, so we have 1-3, 4-20 and 20+. People kick and complain for a little bit, then they get over it.

Also, BrizzyChris, I don't understand why you think that is a dumb statement. People in apartments do expect all the same services as people in single detached houses in the suburbs, and yet they are paying less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, BrizzyChris, I don't understand why you think that is a dumb statement. People in apartments do expect all the same services as people in single detached houses in the suburbs, and yet they are paying less.
We don't expect water metres for every single title, we don't expect our parks to be maintained by council, we rarely use council roads, the PT is funded by the state, our garbage and recycling is cheaper to collect, our site frontage is maintained mostly by body-corp, we need less infrastructure per dwelling such as pipes, etc. than people not in units. We are a significantly lower burden on the council than what a detached house is.


Also, I don't think people would mind if the rates were calculated identicle to houses, based on the price of the title, the problem is, unlike houses we are to be charged rates on both the land value and the improvements on the land, whereas people in detached houses are only charged rates based on the land value.
 

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Guys the $98 a quarter is for general rates, by the time water, sewerage and garbage are added its more like $380/qtr or $1520/year.

General rates are a "slush fund" component to the rates


:cheers:
 

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Guys the $98 a quarter is for general rates, by the time water, sewerage and garbage are added its more like $380/qtr or $1520/year.

General rates are a "slush fund" component to the rates


:cheers:
$380 a quarter, i pay that for a two bed walk up 6 pack shit box in greenslopes - get over it and pay what its worth. Body Corp's are extra by the way - nothing at all to do with Rates. Oh, and its individually metered for water, gas and electrickery - aren't they all since 1950?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh, and its individually metered for water, gas and electrickery - aren't they all since 1950?
No, most apartments on land worth more than $1M are not individually metered.
 

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how do you know if you are using 140lt per day or not? thats gotta be crap, paying water rates for inconsiderates taking 20 minute showers....
 

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Those are really low rates. You guys have it good up there.
 

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Those are really low rates. You guys have it good up there.
I know and agree, I also pay $650 per quarter for a two bed shit box free standing house in Camp Hill - call me the king of shit boxes! BCC rates to apartment owners are cheap.

Same old same old council services - water, garbage, sewerage, fresh air, hot air, buses, roads and untapped non sensical political mumbo jumbo.
 

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Interesting to see what people pay around the country. I have a standard 2 bedroom 1970s unit on 3rd level with balcony. Its in a very nice suburb though. My local council rates are $674 for the year, and strata fees are $180/quarter. The rates vary across all council's though, whereas I guess Brisbane has 1 supercouncil
 
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