Ratepayers forced to pay State Government bill

OUT OF POCKET: Moreton Bay Regional Council has been forced to write-off a $5202.15 bill in rates and charges from state-owned land (highlighted in blue).
OUT OF POCKET: Moreton Bay Regional Council has been forced to write-off a $5202.15 bill in rates and charges from state-owned land (highlighted in blue). Contributed

FANCY $5202.20 worth of free rent for your business?

Lease a parcel of land from the Queensland Government, rack up a bill, go into liquidation and hand it back - that's what CMI Industrial did.

CMI took over a 25-year-old mining lease (ML 50067) in 2009 from Southern Cross Machinery, which operated the old Woorim sand mine on state-owned land.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is the trustee of the land which is held as a quarry reserve, and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines is the occupant.

In 2012, CMI went into liquidation, but a DNRM spokeswoman said the department was only alerted to these changes in April 2016.

"CMI Industrial Pty Ltd subsequently became listed as under external administration and we have been advised that the company remains in that status,” she said.

"The Department of Natural Resources and Mines cancelled ML 50067 in April 2016 for non-payment of annual rent.”

Moreton Bay Regional Council was forced to write-off the $5202.20 bill CMI had racked up during that time, because the State Government doesn't pay rates and charges.

Although a council spokesman said the terms of the lease included that the lessee was responsible for the payment of any rates and charges.

"On May 17, 2016, council was advised that CMI Industrial Pty Ltd had gone into liquidation, there were no funds available to pay any outstanding rates and charges, and the lease had been handed back to the State Government.

"The land is now occupied by the State Government and, under the Local Government Act 2009, State Government property is exempt from rates and charges.”

Division 1 councillor Brooke Savige said this was the first time she'd encountered a set of circumstances where council was forced to write-off rates and charges.

"It's very rare that council has those kinds of debts go unpaid, because we have a variety of mechanisms in place to recover payments,” she said.

"If I defaulted on my payments, I'd get warning letters and it would be a long process, but eventually council would step in and say, 'we are legally allowed to sell the property and recoup the funds'.

"Generally, when that happens, it's not just council rates in arrears, it's the mortgage as well and it's the absolute last resort. I'm not involved with that process so I can only speculate that maybe the State Government may not have necessarily realised (CMI) had gone into liquidation.”

McGrath Nicol partner Matthew Caddy was tasked with liquidating CMI's four Victorian-based sites.

He said the company's primary function was an automotive component manufacturer, but couldn't comment on its two Queensland sites. What it was doing in Woorim, we may never know.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Palmer Coolum Resort and dinosaurs target in lawsuit

Final day of the Australian PGA Championship at Palmer Resort, Coolum: Jeff the dinosaur. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

His Sunshine Coast resort is now in the firing line.

Teens stole from beach-goers, used stolen credit cards

Coolum Beach, February 2017

Police allege the trio used credit cards to commit fraud offences

Search begins for Old Woman Island's secret history

Drone photo of Old Woman Island.

Old Woman Island's stories to go global

Local Partners

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

EDDIE McGuire will return to The Footy Show as co-host alongside Sam Newman and Rebecca Maddern.

Channing Tatum’s cheeky $2400 sex toy prank

Channing Tatum in a scene from "Kingsman: The Golden Circle".

Channing Tatum went all out with his prank this time

Still downloading Game of Thrones? Expect a letter

You mean to tell me HBO want to protect one of the world’s most popular shows?

HBO title holds record as most illegally downloaded show

Sam Newman's Footy Show performance baffles panel

Sam Newman on the Footy Show

“Cat got your tongue tonight has it?”

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Locky eyes next 'series' win

WINNING COMBINATION: Rugby league great Darren Lockyer is to launch his collection of house designs with Ausmar on Saturday at Caloundra.

NRL legend Darren Lockyer in Sunshine Coast partnership

Alex beach or bluff at your front door

ALEX LIVING: 9/252 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra Headland.

Beachfront unit among the picks of this week's auction line-up

Designed with distinction

Coolum Beach home is a true class act

Open for inspection homes 20 - 26 July

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Sunshine Coast shopping centre on the market

Coles-anchored centre in high-growth area listed for sale

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!