Kingborough Councillor, Dean Winter, today revealed Hobart City Council is providing a full rate refund to the property owner of Vodafone's new Hobart city headquarters.
A report to Hobart City Council dated 16 January outlined the deal that sees the property owner receive a full rates refund while Vodafone is a tennant.
"Hobart City Council has adopted an aggressive strategy of corporate welfare for large property owners that, unfortunately, appears focused on attracting investment from within the State," Councillor Winter said.
"The policy of full rate remission for large property owners is no longer an issue just for Hobart ratepayers, the Vodafone move makes it an issue for other municipalities as well.
"Voters of Hobart City Council delivered a very frank assessment of under-the-table corporate welfare policy for large developers and property owners.  It disappointing to see Hobart Aldermen do not appear to have listened to that feedback.
"Where does this behaviour stop?  Will Hobart continue to poach employers from across the southern Tasmanian region under the banner of 'economic development'.  Will Qantas now get a knock on its door to move out of Glenorchy?  What else is in Hobart's sights?
"This is a yet another argument for amalgamation.  Tasmanian local government can't afford to be stuck fighting amongst themselves for major employers.  There are dozens of major call centre operators in Australia, why isn't Tasmania aggressively targeting interstate business, instead of stealing from each other?
"Tasmanians don't want to see neighbouring Councils fighting among themselves for existing Tasmanian jobs.  It's pathetic and shows how small-minded and ridiculous local government in Tasmania has become.
"Hobart and Kingborough should be talking about working together, not trying to steal jobs from one another.
"This is the cost of having too many Councils.  It's very difficult to quantify, but it will have a negative impact on overall local government revenue and it is not in the best interests of Tasmania as a whole."
 
**PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A PERSONAL POSITION.  IT IS NOT INTENDED TO REPRESENT THE VIEW OF KINGBOROUGH COUNCIL**