Gympie Mayor Mick Curran has promised to put rates relief for first homeowners and primary producers on the agenda for the next council term if re-elected.
Gympie Mayor Mick Curran has promised to put rates relief for first homeowners and primary producers on the agenda for the next council term if re-elected.

Curran unveils two big election promises

FIRST home buyers and primary producers are proposed by mayoral candidate Mick Curran to be big winners if he is re-elected.

Mr Curran yesterday unveiled proposals to waive general rates for people buying or building new homes over the next council term, and cap primary producer rate increases at a maximum of 3 per cent regardless of state valuation changes.

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He said the pitches would be put to the new council once it is elected.

Under the first homebuyer scheme, the owners would have to live in the home for the term to access the rate relief.

Mr Curran wants to give rate relief incentives to first home buyers and builders
Mr Curran wants to give rate relief incentives to first home buyers and builders

Service charges like waste and water, and all levies would still need to be paid.

“Once you leave the home, the rates come back. We want to entice growth to our region because … it will have a downward pressure on rates,” Mr Curran said.

He said it was a great opportunity to keep younger people in the region, and attract younger families to balance the ageing demographic.

Of the primary producer rate cap, he said it would “ensure primary producers are not burdened with both high and unexpected rate increases”

Primary producers would have their rate rises capped at a maximum 3 per cent regardless of valuations under Mr Curran’s plan.
Primary producers would have their rate rises capped at a maximum 3 per cent regardless of valuations under Mr Curran’s plan.

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“It’s fair to say reasonable people right across our region do in fact expect a rate rise, but we must ensure that any rate rises passed must be kept to an absolute minimum.

“This is something I’ve worked very hard to achieve over the last five years … minimum general rates. About 56 per cent of our population have only had rate rises averaging 1.8 per cent over those five years.”

This was compared to an average annual CPI increase of 1.7 per cent over that time.

He said last year’s jumps for primary producers were caused by land valuations “well above the expectation of myself or fellow councillors”.