Huon Valley Council’s assets include a wide range of physical spaces, infrastructure and machinery, such as parks, roads, walking tracks and vehicles. To ensure that assets such as land and buildings are owned for a clear purpose, the Council developed a Land Strategy in 2017.
The Land Strategy guides us in how we review and assess land to ensure we can make the most use of the land and achieve a good return whether financially, for the community or environment. We also use the strategy to consider how land can be used to create development opportunities or provide funds for future land purchases that will achieve our strategic goals.
The Land Strategy helps us to know when land is no longer fit for purpose, or not needed for our strategic requirements.
Some of the properties that Council owns are underused or vacant, which means they are not providing any financial, community or environmental benefit to offset the risk and costs that come with ownership.
These risks and costs include:
- Maintenance such as weed management, mowing and bushfire risk reduction
- Land tax (the properties listed below account for approximately 25% of Council’s $113,800 annual Land Tax bill)
- Unauthorised behaviour like wood ‘hooking’, trespassing, vandalism and illegal dumping
- Bushfire hazard maintenance
- Potential boundary fencing contribution.
Following the impacts of COVID-19, Council has renewed its focus on what is done with land. To set out a path forward, Council adopted the recommendations from a Land Strategy review at its February 2021 Council Meeting. An open report will be provided at the March 2021 Meeting providing further information, not including matters of a commercial nature.