Councillors meet minister over rates crisis

QUEANBEYAN Mayor Tim Overall has said that today’s meeting between NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole and a delegation of Queanbeyan Councillors was “mutually constructive.”

Councillors sought the meeting with the minister to seek a possible legislative solution to write-off $3.7 million in backdated rates charges issued by Council to some Queanbeyan ratepayers in July. The local delegation also included councillors Sue Whelan, Jamie Cregan, Brian Brown and Council's acting general manager, Kerry McMurray.

The mayor didn’t comment on any outcomes of the meeting, but said in a statement that a resolution “may take some time”.

“The Minister confirmed he and his Department have been well briefed on the matter and were across what was proposed by Council,” Cr Overall said.

"It was acknowledged by the parties that there were complexities that needed to be carefully considered and that Council was in the process of obtaining legal advice on a range of matters. The Minister recommended Council maintain a close dialogue with the Office of Local Government who in turn would keep the Minister fully appraised.

"Resolution of this matter may take some time, however, as agreed by Council and notified to affected property owners, supplementary retrospective rates notices remain on hold until further notice."

The Mayor’s office has advised that “the Mayor will not be making any further comment regarding the meeting at this time.”

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