Quoin Island rates increase by over 50%
A GROUP of residents on Quoin Island living under a community title scheme that was forced under the same rates category as high rise CBD apartments has argued its case publicly.
Rob Mylne went to this week's general council meeting to highlight the "morally wrong" decision to increase rates for residents on Quoin Island by more than 50% last year.
He said because each lot holder also paid $1000 to their body corporate and the council provided no services on the island, the unexpected increase was unreasonable.
"I fail to understand how we can be categorised the same as high rise apartments in Gladstone," Mr Mylne said.
"No one on the island is well off. Many people are retired and we've all had to tighten our belts.
"I feel as though I am just working to pay the extra costs."
The rate categories were changed by Gladstone Regional Council last year to cater for an explosion in high rise apartments built in the area.
That change had Mr Mylne and the rest of his community forced to cough up an extra $430 each.
And although 22 objections from Quoin Island were submitted to the council, residents were still forced to pay.
"The situation is not fair," Mr Mylne said. "We're getting double-dipped as far as we are concerned.
"Personally I'd be happy to pay the extra if they brought their grader over and started some rubbish collection."
The council's chief financial officer Mark Holmes confirmed the official objections to the increase had been received, and also rejected.
He said any community title scheme with more than nine properties had been placed in the same category as high rise apartments, and because rates could only be changed once a year there was no immediate solution to the problem.
"Council does have the option next year to look at whether it can separate out island properties to ensure they don't get caught up in that category again," he said.
Quoin Island community title scheme:
There are 49 lots in the Quoin Island community title scheme.
Residents pay about $1000 a year to a body corporate for maintenance of shared parklands and assets including firefighting equipment.
With no rubbish collection, residents bring their refuse back to the mainland for disposal.