Mather hits at 'knee-jerk' laws on rates

GLENDA Mather has criticised State Government intervention in a very public stoush between Queensland city councils and property investors.

The Queensland Local Government Association this week launched action in the Court of Appeal after the Supreme Court found in April it was illegal for a council to charge investors higher rates than owner-occupiers.

Association chairman Cr Margaret de Wit and chief executive Greg Hallam said they had asked Local Government Minister David Crisafulli to quickly table the amendments.

Mr Crisafulli said amendments would be introduced to parliament as quickly as possible.

Cr Mather said the state's "knee-jerk, late-night legislation", to override the ruling of the court, should be causing great concern for ratepayers and investors.

"Councils already have the legislative power to introduce differential rating, but it seems some want to hit those who are filling a void for families who cannot afford to purchase a home," she said.

"The practice of hitting those with a second house is assuming that they are investors and can afford to pay more ... I know of families who have a second home for when their children and their families come to town.

"While governments cannot provide accommodation for non-home owners, there are people who fill this market, and provide a service to the state. Why are they being punished?"

Mayor Bill Ludwig said Livingstone Shire Council would not be introducing non-unoccupied rental category ratings. He said the council supported the review because "councils need flexibility".