Council takes ownership of grids at ratepayers' expense
GLADSTONE Regional Council has taken on ownership of the region's livestock grids at the expense of rate payers. In a council meeting yesterday the motion was passed for the council to own the grids from an insurance and maintenance perspective, with the land owners continuing to be responsible for installation of new grids and replacement at the end of its life.
The approval comes at a general rates increase of 0.41 per cent or $410,000.
Land owners would still be required to obtain a permit from the council to install new grids. It is estimated there are 325 grid in the Gladstone region's network.
The change will be made to the 2015 policy of private grid ownership and all associated costs funded by the grid owner. However impacted landowners previously raised concerns of difficulty and expense including obtaining the required level of public liability insurance ($20million) and resolution of ownership when the grid is located on a boundary.
"It was a stupid policy then, it's a stupid policy now,” mayor Matt Burnett told the council.
Councillors discussed how the new policy would impact public liability were an accident to occur on a grid or from escaped cattle.
Community consultation sessions were held in February at Mount Larcom, Calliope and Miriam Vale and residents could provide feedback online.
The policy will be reviewed in 6-12 months following the amended local law.