15 July, 2020
Growers object as sugarcane land valuations skyrocket
The protests of Queensland cane growers have rung loudly in the ears of State Government, following a leap in recent farmland valuations by almost 300 per cent. In the Mackay Regional Council area, 59 cane farm valuations have more than doubled.
Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg said increased property values were a result of assumptions made that the purchase of Mackay Sugar by Nordzucker would boost the value of cane-farming blocks.
"We'd hoped that there would be a positive effect, but it can’t be taken for granted" Mr Borg said.
Higher land values could be welcomed by those looking to sell their properties. However, they could also result in significantly higher rates, which Mr Borg said cane growers would struggle to pay.
"With the capacity to pay by cane farmers in today’s prices and in today’s environment, it becomes very difficult to justify increases in valuations" Mr Borg said.
"There was a spike in sugar prices as the Valuations Office was looking into this, and they’ve taken it for granted that prices were going to stop there."
In a statement, Mackay Regional Council CEO Craig Doyle said out of 59 properties that had increased by at least 200 per cent, 42 were on the minimum rate for their category and would remain there next financial year.
"Individuals struggling to pay their rates may talk to the Council about options for payment plans at any time" Mr Doyle said.