A council decision being used by wind-farm opponents to seek rate cuts is under review by Victoria’s Valuer-General.
A South Gippsland Shire ratepayer with a lifestyle block next to the proposed Bald Hills Wind Farm recently had the block’s value reduced by 32 per cent to match rates paid on adjoining broadacre land.
Shire chief executive Tim Tamlin said the ratepayer received the cut because his block was next to the site’s proposed concrete batching plant and there would be disruption during construction.
But the shire’s supplementary valuation of the man’s land is yet to be approved by Valuer-General Robert Marsh to become part of the shire’s certified valuation and used for rating purposes.
Mr Tamlin said the shire had sent extra information supporting its decision to the Valuer-General.
“It is a done deal, but they can review it and then overturn it,” he said.
He said the valuation, if approved by Mr Marsh, would be subject to review every two years, when it could change once the wind farm was completed.
Southwest Victorian wind farm opponents have sought to use the shire’s decision as grounds for the review of land values around other proposed and completed projects.
They have also highlighted a recent decision by a Federal Magistrates Court judge that a property involved in a divorce settlement would be worth 17 per cent less and parts could be devalued by up to 33 per cent if a neighbouring 14-turbine wind farm was built.
However, Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber has said anti-wind lobby claims on property prices were unfounded slander, easily shown up as wrong by local experts and international studies.
“If anyone would know about wind farms and property prices, the local real estate agent would,” Mr Barber said.
“They’ve got all the inside info on real, actual land sales.
“There are tens of thousands of wind turbines around the world and the studies done there show the same thing.
“Turbines don’t affect property values,” he said.
“South Gippsland Shire gave a rate reduction to one guy who kicked up a stink about living next to a wind farm.
“All that does is shift the rates bill on to someone else.”
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