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Inquiry all ears

Wednesday, 6th March, 2013

By Gayle Ball

Mayor Wincen Cuy said a public hearing being held in the city today as part of a NSW Government inquiry into land valuations, was a great opportunity for City Council to have its say.

The inquiry was announced after the Land And Environment Court ruled the state's Valuer- General overestimated Perilya's land value by about $16 million.

The decision means Broken Hill City Council will have to repay Perilya almost $7 million in rates, although Council is waiting on the outcome of the Valuer-General's appeal before it takes any action.

The Chairman of the parliamentary committee conducting the inquiry, MP Matt Kean, said that there were discrepancies in valuations right across the state, but the local case was the first time he had seen a council asked to refund rates as a result.

The Member for Hornsby will be in the city today as part of the public hearing, along with Legislative Council member Scott Macdonald and Clayton Barr, Member of the Legislative Assembly and the Member for Cessnock.

Mayor Cuy said Council's Acting General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer would join him in putting their suggestions forward.

A more equitable appeals process was among the ideas Mayor Cuy said they wished to suggest for the way land valuations are conducted in the future.

"We'll put the community and Council's point of view forward," Mayor Cuy said.

"We're grateful that it's here ... hopefully some positive decisions can be drawn out of it."

The public hearing will be held in the Council Chambers from 2.30pm until 5.30pm today, although anyone wishing to make submissions will have to do so by mail, email or phone.

Submissions can be made until Friday by contacting John Miller on (02) 9230 2354 or email: jscovg@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

An issues paper states the committee will investigate the extent to which the current land valuation system delivers transparent, efficient, equitable and consistent outcomes for stakeholders.

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