Contact Us (03) 6397 7303

High Court Clears Way for Council on Airport Fair Rate Case

Posted on April 08, 2022

The High Court has cleared the way for Northern Midlands Council to legally pursue its long-running case for businesses on Commonwealth land at Launceston Airport to pay fair and equitable rates.

Northern Midlands Council Mayor Mary Knowles OAM said Council was pleased with the decision by the High Court which meant that the matter could now properly be considered by the Federal Court.

“Council's clear view is that commercial activities undertaken on Commonwealth land are rateable in accordance with the national competition policy principles, and the terms of the lease between the Australian Government and the airport operator Australian Pacific Airports (Launceston) Pty Ltd,” Mayor Knowles said.

The long-running case was bogged down in a legal debate after Launceston Airport argued, that since NMC was not a party to the airport lease contract between itself and the Federal Government, that it did not have a right to bring the case.

“This is a big win for Council as the High Court not only resolved the jurisdictional arguments but also awarded costs in our favour,” Mary Knowles said.

“We now look forward to the Federal Court concluding its consideration of the matter,” she said.

For further information, please contact Mayor Mary Knowles OAM on 0408 766 625.