The association that runs the Moore Soldiers Memorial Hall hopes to repaint the building (Photo: Facebook)

September 24, 2021

Moore Soldiers Memorial Hall Association’s plans to repaint the building will receive a helping hand from Somerset Regional Council.

Council has agreed to apply for a grant on behalf of the Association.

The privately owned hall is a designated evacuation facility for Moore in the event of an emergency.

“However, should Council be unsuccessful with the grant, Council will continue to support the Moore Soldiers Hall Association to paint the hall at a cost of $26,059 via a community assistance grant,” Cr Cheryl Gaedtke said.

Somerset Council also announced community grants this week for the Linville Progress Association and Lions Camp Duckadang.

“We encourage all local community groups to apply for community assistance grants towards any worthy project that they have in mind in future rounds,” Cr Gaetdke said.

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Somerset Regional Council has received the long-awaited review of the March 2020 local government elections from the Electoral Commission Queensland.

“We have previously spoken out that ECQ charged nearly a 70 per cent increase to Somerset ratepayers for the running of the 2020 council elections versus the 2016 elections, while taking more than two weeks to declare the results of the poll,” Mayor Graeme Lehmann said.

“We understood that ECQ had some poll delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but we were obviously concerned about the increase which was far more than inflation when we – like every other Council – are trying to keep our costs down.

“ECQ’s review into the March 2020 elections has come nearly 18 months after the council elections were held.

“Positives from the review are ECQ’s pledge to work with local government to address issues raised by councils after the 2020 elections.

“Ratepayers of course end up paying for the performance of ECQ with council elections and for Somerset, the 2020 ECQ bill was more than $160,000.

“At the very least, ECQ need to work on managing their costs ahead of the 2024 council elections.”

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Somerset Council has asked the Department of Resources to issue official land revaluations more frequently in order to moderate changes.

“Many people may not be aware that the Department of Resources charges Council a compulsory annual levy of around $117,000 for carrying out annual land revaluations, but they generally only provide a revaluation every second year,” Cr Jason Wendt said.

“What we have asked them is to issue their yearly revaluations at least annually so that changes in official valuations will be more moderate when they come out.

“The State values we are seeing are the cumulative effect of 24 months of changes in a market that is changing rapidly.

“To give just one example from official State Government statistics, median rentals for a three-bedroom house in Somerset have increased from $300 per week in June 2020 to $340 per week in June 2021 – that’s 13 per cent in 12 months.

“There is also community benefit in property owners getting more frequent valuation information given the current economic situation with lockdowns, drought and bushfires.”

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