CBD CONCERN: Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry board member and LJ Hooker licenced real estate agent, Paul Deegan is adamant Lismore Council's decision to raise commercial rates will cost the town its business future.
CBD CONCERN: Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry board member and LJ Hooker licenced real estate agent, Paul Deegan is adamant Lismore Council's decision to raise commercial rates will cost the town its business future. Marc Stapelberg

High business rates not flood killing the CBD

HIGH rates not the floods are the cause behind the demise of the Lismore CBD.

This was the opinion of LJ Hooker agent Paul Deegan who along with several other concerned local rate payers and landlords will address councillors in public access session at the Additional Ordinary Council meeting on June 19.

Mr Deegan who was also on the board of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, was adamant Lismore Council's decision to raise commercial rates will cost the town its business future unless changes are made.

"The reason the CBD in Lismore is being slowly strangled, is directly related to the impossible rate burden imposed by Lismore City Council,” he said.

"In most other areas the rates total between 3 to 5 per cent of the outgoings payable on a commercial building, Lismore Rates are up to 25 per cent of the building outgoings..”

Mr Deegan said a commercial building in Lismore pays eight times more than the rates in Ballina, and more than 10 times the rates in Byron.

"That is what is killing Lismore's CBD, one flood has absolutely nothing to do with it,” he said.

"The business rates in Lismore are the highest we can find in Australia.”

Mr Deegan said if Lismore Council was a business, it would have gone belly-up years ago.

"This all comes back to a Council that is not being run on normal business practices, they are trying to be all things to all people, and that is not the way to run any business,” he said,

"The owners of the business properties in the Core of Lismore CBD don't want any special treatment, they just want to be treated like all the rest of the commercial property owners in regional and city suburban Australia.”

Lismore Council have been contacted for comment.