The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has called on the state government to remove rate exemptions for nursing homes and retirement villages run by church-based organisations.

LGAQ executive director Greg Hallam said the move would create a level playing field for all operators, as both religious and private operators sell places for profit.

But he said subsidies should still apply to facilities that predominantly provided for people with low incomes and other disadvantages. Mr Hallam likened the proposal to policies that require government bodies operating in the market sector to pay rates.

“It’s still open to councils to make an ex-gratia payment equivalent to the extra rates charged to nursing and retirement homes that are true not-for-profit organisations,” Said Mr Hallam.

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