Lorraine Stewart says her State Government road is “useless” but it’s costing her money.
Lorraine Stewart says her State Government road is “useless” but it’s costing her money. Toni McRae

Old highway leads to bill increase

A WOOCOO couple wants to know why the State Government is charging them for a “useless 9.5 acres of old metal highway” that they can’t use even to feed their three peckish lady cows.

“And why is the government charging us almost $160 more this year for the road than it did last year?” a disgusted Lorraine Stewart said yesterday.

“The year before that we were billed $212.95. It just keeps going up and up – this year it’s gone up 61 per cent.”

Loraine and husband Bill are battlers who left NSW seven years ago to live out their dream pre-retirement years in Queensland. Both are still working to pay the bills and Bill, at 68, is a full-time brickie.

“We bought a 13.5 acre block and love our home. The road is a sort of easement between us and our two neighbouring properties and it belongs to the government and is managed by the Department of Environment and Resource Management who insist on hiking our annual rate bill.

“The road used to be the old narrow metal highway and because it slopes rapidly downhill heavy rain gouges it out.

“We have tried at every level, including local MP Chris Foley and Federal MP Warren Truss, but nothing gets resolved.

“DERM told Chris Foley that the reason for our climbing road bill was ‘to increase the ministerial portfolio’.

“We even tried to buy the road and were at first told the price would be $28,000, which they lowered to $20,000 and now to $15,000. I asked if we could give it back to them and they said that would cost us $180. I refuse on principle to pay the government to take back their road.”

Lorraine says their latest council rates bill for the 13.5 acres on which they are now living is only $776 after discount so their “useless road” rates bill “is ridiculous”.

“I wouldn’t recommend anyone to move to Queensland the way this government operates. Why would you?”

Mrs Stewart said it was “time the government started to look after the Queensland people rather than scouring money unfairly out of them”.

The Chronicle has sought a response from the State Government.



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