A recent auction of island land by Redland City Council on properties involving unpaid rates for more than three years, has resulted in sales of approximately $292,000. Originally 24 blocks were announced by council to be involved in the auction. Council was seeking to recoup almost $280,000 in unpaid rates. However, as the auction date of March 9 approached, several land owners paid the overdue rates. Eventually, 13 blocks went under the hammer with 11 land owners paying their overdue rates prior to auction. Most of the blocks involving unpaid rates were located on Russell Island. One block on Macleay Island in Blue Water Crescent was sold for $35,000. The highest price for a block at the auction was for a Canaipa Point Drive block. It sold for $42,000. Another in Patterson Street, Russell Island, sold for around $34,500. The Friendly Bay Islander attended the auction, but not all the final prices were revealed at the time of the auction. Blocks that did not reach their reserve were then sold by negotiation outside the auction hall to the highest bidder at the Capalaba council premises, and results were not revealed by council officers. Several blocks sold for under $20,000. The lowest priced block was around $12,500 for a block in Blaxland Street, Russell Island. Again the final sale price was negotiated outside the auction to the highest bidder. Outgoing Redland City Council CEO Bill Lyon said at the time the auction was announced, the event had only come about following ‘extensive efforts to get the property owners to pay their rates. It is a practice followed by councils throughout Queensland’. “Rates are used to upgrade local roads, build new parks and provide other important infrastructure and the majority of residents do the right thing by paying their rates so we can provide these services. “At the moment, there is more than $5.3 million in unpaid rates owed in the Redlands, some from years ago. “Council auctions land involving long-standing rate non-payment to recoup funds. “Proceeds from the auction firstly goes towards any outstanding rates, charges or encumbrances on the land. “All remaining proceeds are then paid to the person who owned the land immediately before the sale in line with section 146 of the Local Government Regulation 2012,” Bill Lyon added.