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Honeymakers in unholy row with local council over rates in Tasmania

A Tasmanian honeymaking family is stuck in an unholy row with the local council, after refusing to pay their rates because their property is “owned by God”.

The Dutch-born family behind the Melita Honey Farm, located in the small village of Chudleigh in Tasmania’s north, now face the prospect of losing their land.

Melita Honey Farm's Fanny Beerepoot with the farm's book Bees Around The World. image www.ozrural.com.au

On Tuesday night, the Meander Valley Council stepped up its pace, voting to sell three properties owned by the Beerepoot family, including their honey farm, to recover $9332 in unpaid rates, The Examiner reported.

Mayor Craig Perkins said the family refused to pay rates because they believe the land was not theirs but owned by “the Heavenly Father” and it was a matter between the council and God.

The Melita Honey Farm. Photo Facebook image www.ozrural.com.auooo

“Council has come to the conclusion that we have worked enough and tried long and hard enough to collect the unpaid rates so we made the decision to formally start proceedings to sell the properties,” Cr Perkins said, according to The Examiner.

Real estate records from Domain, owned by this publisher, show that in June 2007 one of the properties, 33 Sorell Street, Chudleigh, sold for $60,000 via private treaty.

Remmo Beerepoot and his mother Lida Beerepoot at the Melita Honey Farm.image www.ozrural.com.au

In a letter from the Beerepoots to the council in February, the family showed no signs of agreeing to pay. “Council’s world view is that the ‘law of the land’ governs life and thus also provides progress, growth and security,” the letter said.

“On the other hand, we believe that our Heavenly Father is Sovereign and that He reigns today … you are asking us to bow down to a false god which is something we cannot do.”

The picturesque Meander Valley. Photo Meander Valley Council image www.ozrural.com.au

The council’s agenda shows that the family last paid council rates in July 2010. However Tasmania Police at one stage seized and sold an old vehicle owned by the family, which cleared most of the outstanding rates up until June 2012.

Cr Tanya King said she believed the sale was appropriate to save ratepayers’ money, The Examiner reported.

“I believe that we have an obligation of equity to all our ratepayers and I believe all our other ratepayers are subsidising the Beerepoot family and their business,” she said.

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Henry Sapiecha

March 17th, 2017
Topic: COUNCILS & RATES, RELIGIONS CULTS, Tasmania Tags: , , ,

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