Watson condemns ‘rip-off’ lease fees

THE state government is “ripping off” some of the Shoalhaven’s voluntary emergency service organisations, according to Shoalhaven City Councillor Greg Watson.At the centre of Cr Watson’s concerns is the Division of Lands policy applying a minimum lease charge of $431 annually for council-owned buildings located on Crown land and leased to community groups.The policy has resulted in Marine Rescue bases at Huskisson, Crookhaven Heads and Kioloa being hit with the lease fees.“While $431 a year might not sound like a lot of money, when you have to sell raffle tickets to raise that, it becomes quite an amount, and is an unnecessary distraction from the vital, life-saving work these groups are already performing,” Cr Watson said.“I’m sure the Premier Barry O’Farrell would be horrified to know one of his agencies is ripping off voluntary emergency service community groups like this.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.