Whittlesea council is calling on Victoria’s peak local government body to oppose a state government move to have land valuations conducted by the Valuer-General instead of councils.

This year’s state budget included proposed changes that would see all land valuations carried out by the Valuer-General annually.

Currently, valuations are conducted every two years by councils.

The proposed changes are expected to be introduced to Parliament later this year.

Whittlesea council will ask the Municipal Association of Victoria’s state council meeting on Friday, October 20, to oppose mandatory centralised valuations.

It wants councils to continue being able to chose how its valuations are conducted.

At the moment, 13 councils have in-house valuers, while 48 councils contract valuers. The remaining 18 already have their valuations done by the Valuer-General.

Whittlesea believes that centralising valuations would impact on the revenue councils receive from carrying out general and supplementary valuations, and lead to job losses. It is estimated that Whittlesea would lose between $4-5 million in revenue.

The council is also concerned that the proposed changes pose an integrity issue as the Valuer-General would be responsible for conducting and reviewing valuations.

Cr Mary Lalios said the council believed that centralising valuations would negatively impact the quality of valuations.

“We have a very proficient and experienced valuations team,” she said.

“We as a council would like to keep it that way to ensure residents get the best local knowledge.”

The council said that while the move to annual valuations would impact on local businesses and many property owners through expected tax increases and higher rates, it would not oppose the change as the increase in revenue had already been budgeted for by the government.

The council also wants the MAV to call on the state and federal government to reaffirm January 26 as Australia Day.