Providing “fairness”: Noosa Council signals rate rise for retirement village and Land Lease Community residents

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Residents at nine villages and land lease communities have voiced concerns about “excessive increases” after the Council revised its rates structure to introduce a new rate-in-the-dollar for retirement villages and land lease communities.

Under the QLD Manufactured Home Estates Act, operators are permitted to pass rates charges onto residents.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington says that the current rate for one land lease community Cooroy Village is $299 – $850 less than what a pensioner on full discount in a stand-alone house would be paying. Under the new rate, this would increase by $2 a week – still only up to 18% of the general minimum rate and a “considerable discount”.

“If we don’t increase the rate-in-the-dollar on ‘residential institutions’ then all of our ratepayers, including pensioners in their own houses and apartments, are massively subsidising those who are living in retirement villages.”

The increase followed a Council review that found the current rating system, inherited from the Sunshine Coast Council, wasn’t “providing fairness at all” with one village paying no rates at all.

He added that all these residents are benefiting from council services like roads and stormwater systems.

“It just didn’t make sense that one group of residents were paying little or nothing while others were contributing their fair share.”

Fair point.