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Latrobe Local News:
RSL rates decision overturned

The Court of Appeal has overturned the County Court decision which required RSL Clubs to pay rates to Latrobe City

By Latrobe City Council - 13th August 2001 - Back to News

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The Court of Appeal has overturned the County Court decision which required RSL Clubs to pay rates to Latrobe City. Latrobe City Deputy Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning, said that the decision was extremely disappointing and meant the current inequitable situation would continue which sees clubs such as the Morwell Club, Italian Australian Social Club, Bowling Clubs and others pay rates, whilst the major RSL clubs pay nothing.

"Arguments put by Council and its legal representatives were originally accepted by the County Court, but the Court of Appeal has overturned that decision. Our arguments were about equity and the fact that the activities of some RSL clubs had changed to such an extent that they were no longer eligible for exemption from rates," Cr Hanning said.

"Those arguments were based on the fact that some RSL clubs now operate as entertainment and gaming venues, and that the provisions of the Local Government Act were designed to ensure that clubrooms used exclusively for the purposes of traditional RSL activities were not rated; a fact that Council has always acknowledged.

Cr Hanning said that Council had always intended to rate only the gaming and public entertainment component of the club, not the part of the club used exclusively for traditional RSL purposes. However, when an arrangement to accommodate that intention was presented to the RSL it was rejected.

Cr Hanning said that the Council considered the current situation unfair that sees other clubs, such as the Morwell Club, Italian Australian Social Club, Bowling Clubs and others pay rates, whilst the major RSL clubs pay nothing.

"Council emphasises that traditional RSL clubrooms, such as Yinnar, were not included in the current action. These traditional clubs are, in Councilís opinion, the clubs that are intended to be provided with rating exemption under the Act," Cr Hanning stressed.

"It is only the major gaming and entertainment centres that Council targeted to ensure they contributed equitably to the rate base of the municipality," Cr Hanning said.

"This decision could have implications for every municipality in Victoria, particularly those that have already been rating RSL clubs for some time," Cr Hanning concluded.


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: latrobecity@gippslander.com



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