Mayor to call for legislation change over $65M stamp duty

FRASER Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell wants the state to change its laws to save his council from a $65 million stamp duty bill.

Cr O'Connell will call for a legislation change when he meets Queensland Treasury about the stamp duty bill to dissolve Wide Bay Water.

He said the council had lodged a formal application last month calling for an exemption from the stamp duty.

Cr O'Connell said the Treasury agreed late on Friday to hold a one-on-one meeting with key members of the council.

"I am optimistic we will get a good hearing," he said.

Cr O'Connell said he would call on Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls to introduce a bill to change legislation that stripped the council of its body corporate status several years ago.

He said the only way to avoid the $65 million bill to ratepayers and go ahead with the Wide Bay Water takeover was a legislative change.

The Treasury ruled the council was not eligible for exemption from stamp duty because the council was not considered a body corporate for the whole time it owned Wide Bay Water.

The decision was revealed only two days before the council was due to bring WBW back under its control in February.

The council has been negotiating since.

Cr O'Connell said the meeting with Treasury would include himself, the council's chief executive officer Lisa Desmond and representatives from the water advisory board.



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