MASSIE pensioner Barbara Norvill has to wear an almost 500 per cent rent increase and pay $407 for a tiny piece of land bearing a bore that ran dry five years ago.
In what's being described as a State Government “rent rip-off” the 82-year-old has seen the price of her useless piece of land soar from $82.50.
She now faces deciding whether to pay $500 to have the bore removed and discontinue the lease or pay up the money grab.
“I haven't decided what I'll do yet, but it's just a rip-off,” she told the Daily News.
Unfortunately the senior citizen is not alone, as the State Government attempts to squeeze $24 million for lessees of the pockets of Crown Land.
Deputy leader of the Opposition and Southern Downs MP, Lawrence Springborg, told the Daily News he had been fielding countless phone calls from constituents concerned about the increase, which the Government has attributed to administration costs.
“It's cranked up another rip-off to pay for its massive debt,” Mr Springborg said.
“Labor is claiming the increase reflects administration costs, but that's ridiculous because all the Government is doing is sending out the same computer-generated bills once a year,” he said.
“If that's how much it costs them to administrate, no wonder the State Government has racked up so much debt. It's just money for jam.”
For Emu vale pensioner, Peter Wilkinson, there's no alternative but to rip out the bore and give the Government back its land.
“It won't be a problem any more because it will be out within two weeks and that will be the end of it,” he said.
There was no disguising his bitterness at leasing the nine-metre square site for 33 years for a bore that has been dry for five years, meaning he has to buy water for his home.
The Daily News contacted DERM regarding the increases and their effects, but DERM could not provide an answer before time of print.
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