PRA Media Release Valuation Rip-Off

13th April 2007

Property Rights Australia (PRA) welcomes and supports the Belyando Shire landholder group’s action to contest the Department of Natural Resources and Water valuation rises of up to 250% following a similar rise in recent years.
PRA Chairman John Purcell says, “It is hoped that other shires such as Bauhinia, Banana, Bowen, Peak Downs and Emerald have objected in a similar fashion to the Belyando Shire.  These shires have valuation increases ranging from 100% to 150% rises.  Of note, valuations are mostly “desktop”, e.g. no inspection but computer generated in Brisbane.”
If ever there was a blatant rip-off of the farm sector by the Queensland Government, the valuation system is it.  The Government calls all the shots and holds all the cards; the current system is flawed and verging on fraud.
Firstly, the Department that manages land valuations is also the Department that benefits most from the funds collected.  The so-called valuation conferences between the Department and the landholders on an individual basis are no more than a charade.  Worse still, the Department can deny a landholder the right to even have a valuation conference.  This is a denial of natural justice.
Valuations are based on sales.  This distorts property valuation.  The current system includes abnormal sales such as to mining companies for mine developments, drought-generated sales to carry drought-stricken livestock, sales caused by divorce, large companies acquiring strategically situated land, private families acquiring adjoining neighbouring properties or land for a family member.
The current valuation system is based on short-term revaluation, e.g. on an annual basis.  A common sense period between valuations would seem to be a five-year period.
In summary, the current Queensland land valuation system must be scrapped.  The very basis of this valuation system is supposed to be a setting of the “unimproved capital value” of a property.  The interpretation of this beggars all common sense, no wonder we are in a hell of a mess.
What is required to carry out valuation is an independent group comprised of recognised experts in the field.  In no way should this body be an arm of Government, however, accountability would be required.
Queensland is over-governed, over-regulated and overrun by bureaucrats.  More free enterprise and small government would do wonders for the State of Queensland.