A TOTAL of 24 Redland properties will be sold in March for unpaid rates, as council tries to claw back more than $5.3 million owed to the city.
Most of the properties are on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, with three on Macleay, 17 on Russell and a single property each at Victoria Point, Sheldon, Capalaba and Birkdale.
Redland City Council chief executive officer Bill Lyon warned that buyers should be careful to undertake due diligence on the land.
The bay’s southern islands have been a nightmare for successive Redland councils since the state government handed control of the area to the local authority in 1973.
Due to a lack of state oversight, Russell Island was carved up by unscrupulous developers who provided few services and sold many blocks which were not suitable for development.
It led to one of the longest and most expensive criminal cases in Australian history.
Properties to be sold in March are those with overdue rates of three years or more and will recoup almost $280,000 in unpaid taxes.
Mr Lyon said the auction followed extensive efforts to get property owners to pay their rates and was a practice followed by councils across the state.
"These property owners haven't paid rates on these properties for many years," Mr Lyon said.
"...Rates are used to upgrade local roads, build new parks and provide other important infrastructure and the majority of residents do the right thing by paying their rates so we can provide these services.
"There are some residents however who don't pay their rates despite years of proactive attempts from council to help them achieve this and those who do the right thing should not have to make up that shortfall.
"At the moment there is more than $5.3 million in unpaid rates owed in the Redlands, some from years ago.’’
Council was not able to tell the Redland City Bulletin if any of the blocks to be sold were those which would not get building approval because of their location or other problems.
Staff also could not explain how the arrears bill became so large nor how unusual it was for mainland rates not to be paid.
The last such auction was in 2015 when 28 island properties were sold to recoup more than $240,000 in unpaid rates.
The auction will take place from 10am on Thursday March 9, with bidder registration from 9am.
It will be at Capalaba Place, 14 Noeleen Street, unless the rates, charges and interest plus all expenses incurred for the sale are paid in full before the auction.
Proceeds will be used to pay outstanding rates, charges and any encumbrances on the land. All remaining proceeds are then paid to the person who owned the land immediately before the sale.
More information can be found at <file:///C:\Users\allanm\Downloads\auction_of_land_for_overdue_rates%20(2).pdf>