Mayor prefers political debate than deferring pedestal tax for struggling businesses and sporting clubs
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill would rather have a political debate than deliver rate relief for accommodation providers and local sporting clubs crippled by her council’s excessive pedestal tax.
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson wrote to the mayor on behalf of the dozens of organisations slugged $945 per toilet despite coronavirus restrictions meaning most of them hadn’t been flushed for months.
“Many motel owners and sporting clubs have been in contact with me about this pedestal tax and the need for relief at a time when money just isn’t coming in,” Mr Thompson said.
“So I got in touch with the Mayor asking her to have some compassion and waive the fee during this extremely tough time.
“What she came back with was a petty letter where she said the plight of these businesses and community groups was ‘a topic on which I would be very willing to debate you’.
“Instead of listening to the needs of the community that elected her, she wants to have a back-and-forth buck-passing talk-fest while these people are suffering.
“This kind of attitude is absolutely disgusting. Once again the Mayor would rather play politics than have any consideration for so many who are struggling in our community because of an unprecedented worldwide pandemic.”
Mr Thompson said other councils which are physically closer to the Great Barrier Reef have cheaper pedestal charges.
“Mackay Regional Council charges $898.40 per toilet per annum, while the city widely known for its reef tourism – Cairns – only charges $680.96,” he said.
“If these councils can afford to charge less there is no reason for Townsville City Council’s exorbitant charge.
“I once again call on the mayor to do the right thing and waive these charges during this extremely difficult time.”