Mayor  Mick Curran was cornered on ABC Radio Sunshine Coast by an unhappy farmer, who was miffed by his rates bill.
Mayor Mick Curran was cornered on ABC Radio Sunshine Coast by an unhappy farmer, who was miffed by his rates bill. ABC Radio Sunshine Coast

Gympie farmer hit by huge rate hike corners Mayor on radio

ALREADY at war with the weather, Gympie's farmers seem to have been accosted by a new enemy as well: Gympie Regional Council.

In today's ABC Radio Sunshine Coast interview, Mayor Mick Curran found himself under fire from an unhappy farmer.

Specifically, he was miffed at the $7500 per year rates he pays.

He questioned the council's widely spruiked "minimal average ratepayer rise” of 2.4 per cent, asking what the "average” rise Gympie region farmers had received was. Cr Curran said "some properties'” bills had gone up 10 per cent, which was "unfortunate”.

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The Hindenburg had a smoother landing.

It may not have been for every farm, but nevertheless that is a huge hit to the pocket to a key regional industry.

Gympie region farmers John and Jenny Cameron on their property. Some rural properties in the Gympie region were slugged with rate rises of up to 10 per cent.
Gympie region farmers John and Jenny Cameron on their property. Some rural properties in the Gympie region were slugged with rate rises of up to 10 per cent. Renee Albrecht

According to Queensland Statisticians Office 2016 data for the Gympie region: Farmers and farm managers were the third-highest "sub-major” group of occupation; Agriculture was the second-highest subdivisional employer; and including forestry and fishing it was the fourth highest employer.

That's the problem with political spin. There's a world of difference between the "average rate rise” and the rise for the "average ratepayer”.

Yes, the region may have more of the latter. But if we price out the people who employ them, then the average ratepayer won't be able to pay their bills either.

Gympie Times


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