RATES THREAT WORKS
THE Tweed Shire Council is continuing its crackdown on errant ratepayers.
Two Tweed property owners who have not paid rates for five years, this week suddenly found the funds after a threat to sell their land to recover the debt.
And the council is still pursuing the owner of the Banora Point caravan park, Warren Tschannen, to recover about $120,000 of unpaid rates.
The council's solicitors Stacks Northern Rivers yesterday refused to comment on the matter as it would be dealt with by the court early next month.
Meanwhile, senior Tweed Shire Council administration officer Reg Norvill said the tactic used against the two property owners who paid up this week had worked many times before.But 11 other properties still remain on a council list for auctioning unless their owners act soon.
Mr Norvill said the council was entitled to auction properties where rates had not been paid for five years, and a sudden decision by owners to pay up was "not unusual once we have started the process".
Mr Norvill said it was four years since the council last sold up land and most of the blocks listed this time were vacant.
He said the council had attempted to negotiate payment and was always sympathetic to people with difficulties.
"This is basically a last re- sort," he said.
An auctioneer is yet to be appointed to sell off the listed properties, with an auction date likely to be within the next three months.
It would probably be held at the Tweed Heads or Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centres.
The properties at this stage set to be listed are at Bilambil Heights, Bilambil, Tweed Heads, Stokers Siding, Uki, Byangum, North Tumbulgum, Mount Burrell, Doon Doon and Tumbulgum.