Valuations dive


THE value of land in Tenterfield Shire has collapsed, losing over 21 per cent of its value over the past three years.
The Valuer-General’s report on land value has stripped $193 million from the shire.
The 2010 valuation was $911 million, while the 2013 valuation says the shire’s land is worth $718 million.
The overall land value in NSW went up 2.56 per cent over the last 12 months, Tenterfield had the biggest loss in the state – 10.02 per cent for the 12-month period.
Mayor Peter Petty said he was “a bit surprised and not surprised” by the valuations.
“I’m a bit surprised because I know rural properties, especially within a 10km radius of Tenterfield have been very much in demand,” Cr Petty said.
“But on a positive note, Drake stayed stable and actually Jennings has increased.
“Resident Bob South said the valuations “paint a bleak, but not surprising, picture of the area”.
He called on the shire to abandon its application for a Special Rates Variation.
Mr South said he heard a prominent local describe it as being like $193 million has been wiped off the share value of the Tenterfield community.
“We haven’t really lost anything unless we sell, but this is only true if the trend is reversed, and we don’t have to sell,” Mr South said.
“It also mirrors the decline in business and agricultural profitability over the past three years.
“In simple terms it means Tenterfield is 21 per cent less desirable than it was three years ago.”
Mr South said the decline in the cattle industry must be added to the Valuer-General’s reasons for the decline – recent floods and high development and subdivision costs.
He said lower prices and the massive increase in invasive native woody weeds has caused the cattle industry’s downturn, but agricultural profitability is largely out of locals’ control.
“We need to make the shire more people-friendly and affordable,” he said.
“We need a zero tolerance of crime. We need to make newcomers and visitors more welcome, just smile and say g’day.
“We need to support local business and local business needs to support us by being competitive, friendly and professional.”
Mr South said although the decline is not due directly to council actions they need to take a leading role in a recovery.
“The cost of living in the Tenterfield Shire must be reduced, although the general residential rate is low, the rates and charges combined are very high – $230 more than Glenn Innes, with big increases for recycling and dam upgrade in the near future.”
Mr South said that given the decline in land values in the shire it is very unlikely the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribuna (lPART) will grant the full rate rise being sought by council.
“Even if they do it is unlikely council will implement it due to the hardship it will cause.
“The council needs to abandon its application for a rate increase.
“They also need to upgrade infrastructure.
“Some would say this is contradictory but it can be done with efficiencies.”