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The Northern Gold Coast Levy Action Group (NGCLAG) would like to thank everyone in the community who supported us! A very special thanks to those who signed our petition online, or at the Marina Quays Markets. We feel that was a major factor in Council relieving local residents from the discriminatory public bridges’ levies.
We have achieved a major victory with the Council at its meeting of the 1st of November 2010, resolving to fund both the Sickle Avenue North and South Bridges from whole of city funds, once and for all removing the proposed levy amounting to $13Million. This was a major achievement requiring many Councillors and Gold Coast City Council Staff to reverse their long held positions and support our cause.
The workload by the group committee over the past number of years that has brought this result has been overwhelming and ultimately exhausting. We have worked full time on this solution for the past 8 months, lobbying, researching, meetings with and submissions to Council and Government and wider stake holders, manning petitions, fund raising, protest rallies and events, also media interviews.
Following this victory, discussions have been held with Councillors and others to determine whether to pursue refunds of the Park and Canal levies applied in 2008. Several committee members who now face no levies at all, have indicated they would continue to stand by members who have already paid these levies. We appreciate the sentiments of those members who have expressed this stand.
Whether NGCLAG proceeds involves consideration of elements such as:
a) The remaining political capital, following Councillors and staff undertaking to bear the cost of two bridges, when they were sent away only three weeks ago to consider how they may pay for one.
b) The legalities of Council refunding levies already paid, as well as the illegality of letting some parties off the hook.
c) The ability to maintain the rage and effort needed for another extended fight that could last into 2012 with little chance of success.
d) The total loss of councillor and staff support for any further action following Councillors of other divisions burdening their constituents an additional rate sum that has been assessed at possibly 6% distributed over the next few years. This rate burden will create ratepayer agitation for these Councillors in the future.
e) The potential that the gains to date could be undone at 2011 budget time by the objectors Young, Sarroff, Crichlow and Shepherd. These objectors may not lie down and we need to retain the good will of the fringe Councillors that supported the recent resolution.
In consideration of the above the committee has now determined as a group it will not be pursuing the remaining levies.
We ask those who have paid or have to pay any levies, to accept that we have achieved significant success on your behalf removing in some cases, $10,000 to $12,000 from your total liability, that only a month ago seemed to be set in concrete. If you feel so aggrieved by the remaining levies we encourage you to pursue whatever avenues you feel appropriate. The structure of the NGCLAG shall remain in the near future to ensure no adverse circumstances arise.
Thanks to those who have sacrificed so much for this fight -in time, health, careers and family especially.
People power! With bridge levies “off the menu” everyone should enjoy Christmas!
The Executive Committee
- Northern Gold Coast Levy Action Group
PLEASE REFER TO OUR WEBSITE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
The Gold Coast City Council is proposing to charge Hope Island rate payers for the construction of the two Sickle Avenue Bridges.
The North Bridge completed at a final cost of $4,337,143.87. The South Bridge has not yet been designed but our information is it will be similar to the North Bridge and its cost will be based on estimates. Council has contracted outside companies to prepare the levies for all those deemed to benefit from the bridges. Roughly this means all property owners whose only access is via both bridges and a separate category of the property owners whose only access is via the South Bridge.
The levy is based on your UCV and to give you some idea a property with a UCV of $247,500.00 to use both bridges was advised of $2,589.50 for the North Bridge, $3,200.00 for the South Bridge, total $5,789.50 and that was last year! So with loan interest accruing by Council we could expect this figure for 2010 to be more like $6,000.00 You can estimate from this the approximate amount that you will have to pay by a pro rata adjustment e.g. if your UCV is 25% more then your levy will be 25 percent more. April 2010 Council has deferred the descision on the Levy till the next Annual Budget Meeting beginning in April of 2011. Council is also proposing to raise rates by 5.2%. 2011 is also a Council re-election year.
The three possible outcomes are:
1. Councillors have the ability to transfer all the above levies to the general rates.
2. The Judicial Inquiries instigated by the prominent area developers will be successful.
3. We will all end up paying the Parks and Bridges Levies.
The Council has previously raised money to pay for the tennis courts and park by charging a Special Levy to the rate payers of Hope Island. Public Road, Public Bridges - why should we pay for something that everyone has access to?