It's a joke
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
WITH a 300 per cent rise in his land valuation, Bruce Hunt may well be staring down the barrel of a huge rates increase, but he's not taking it lying down.
Like most local residents Mr Hunt wasn't happy when he opened the new Department of Natural Resources and Mines valuation on his land recently and found it had increased from $60,000 to $180,000.
But unlike most people, Mr Hunt will oppose the valuation, planning to take it the courts to get it lowered.
Gladstone was hit with 60 per cent rise in land values recently when the new round of valuations were sent out, with some properties going up 400 per cent.
"I think the whole (valuation) exercise has been done very broadly and a rushed through process and don't take into account the individual properties,'' Mr Hunt said.
It is a point which has been disputed by the Natural Resources and Mines Department.
However, Mr Hunt successfully opposed his valuations in the past and now wants others to do the same.
"Anyone who is dissatisfied and don't believe the valuations are justified should lodge an objection,'' Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said although it was a lengthy and involved process, it was possible for people to get their land valuations lowered and avoid facing huge rate hikes.
Mr Hunt said his initial objection last time was rejected by the department and he had to take it to the courts and pay the associated legal fees.
He blasted valuers who claimed the valuations rose based on sales.
"There have been no sales in this street except for one ? the house two doors up,'' Mr Hunt said. "It sold for $330,000 at Christmas on similar land to ours. So based on our valuation they are saying their house was only worth $100,000. That's absolute nonsense.''
Mr Hunt admitted his land should be valued slightly higher because of his views.
However, he said it was wrong for that valuation to then determine what rates he paid, when rates were based on the services provided to the property.