$65m stamp duty waived
THE State Government has waived a $65 million stamp duty fee as the Fraser Coast Regional Council moves to take complete control of Wide Bay Water.
The council first signalled its intention to bring Wide Bay Water back into its fold in 2013.
But a miscommunication between the council and the Newman Government led to a stoush over whether the council would have to pay $65 million in stamp duty.
At the time Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the transaction would be exempt from stamp duty, but the treasurer's department denied that and the planned takeover was delayed.
Cr O'Connell said he was pleased the takeover would finally go ahead, thanking Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders for making the case for exemption to the new ALP Government.
"I applaud Bruce Saunders, who at an early stage understood and accepted what we were trying to do," Cr O'Connell said.
Cr O'Connell said bringing Wide Bay Water back under the council would save the region money.
"We are trying to deliver a cost effective waste water system for the Fraser Coast," he said.
"This will save money for ratepayers and allow us to direct more money toward infrastructure and maintenance."
Cr O'Connell said it was pleasing to see the stamp duty waived after the two-year delay.
Mr Saunders said he had been advocating the council's case in Brisbane and he thanked Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt for "taking this common sense action for our region".
"The Treasurer's decision will enable the reorganisation of the council's corporate structure without incurring the significant duty costs that would be ordinarily associated with such a transaction," Mr Saunders said.
"The issue came about as a result of the corporatisation and then de-corporatisation of the Fraser Coast Regional Council. "Fraser Coast Regional Council had sought other forms of relief for some time but their calls fell on deaf ears while the LNP was in power." The takeover is expected to be complete by February.
Wide Bay Water
- The council has saved $4.5 million by combining its efforts with WBW.