Private hospital receives $360k deferral from council
A PRIVATE hospital in Toowoomba has received an infrastructure charges deferral worth more than $360,000, following a council vote.
St Vincent's Private Hospital had its charges bill fully discounted following the committee meeting vote yesterday, which narrowly passed.
The deferral of the charges, which related to significant upgrades to the hospital in East Toowoomba, was even better than when it first applied for a discount late last year.
TRC senior planner Krys den Hertog told councillors the previous deferral of 50 per cent of the charges was superseded when the hospital applied for a minor change to the expansion that increase its gross floor area in December, thus increasing the infrastructure bill.
Because the council does not have a specific policy related to waivers or deferrals for not-for-profit organisation, Mr den Hertog recommended the application be rejected.
But councillors have for years voted to granted waivers, discounts and deferrals to certain NFP and community groups.
The full amount of lost revenue due to waivers and deferrals since 2013 now sits at more than $2.9 million.
After an original motion to again defer 50 per cent of the hospital's charges was defeated, Cr James O'Shea moved to defer the full amount.
Cr O'Shea said it was consistent with what the council had granted to hospitals in the past, including the Clifton Cooperative Hospital.
Cr Nancy Sommerfield was highly critical of this, saying St Vincent's was in a different category due to its size and scope.
"It is a very big organisation, it comes with the backing of St Vincent's," she said.
"I think this is being very extravagant (and) I just think this is being disrespectful to our ratepayers."
The infrastructure charges will only come into effect if the use of the land changes, or it is sold to a for-profit company.