Dead 36 years, pursued by council

AN East Coast man who died 36 years ago was recently pursued for unpaid rates by the Break O'Day Council.

The council earlier this year published land titles that would be sold by the council owing to unpaid rates.

The dead man's name appeared in the listing for a small parcel of land in Gould's Country that he had owned with five people, who had each been dead for more than 30 years.

His son Ernie Hodge said mention of the names could be construed as "naming and shaming" for unpaid debts.

"When these things appear, people tend to form the wrong opinion," he said.

"These named people had all been known to be well-respected members of the community in which they resided and are unable to defend themselves against unsavoury comments."

He said the deed related to a former community hall bought by the six Gould's Country residents in the 1940s to prevent it from closing.

The hall has since been demolished.

Under law, Tasmanian councils have the option of selling properties to recover debts when the debt is more than three years old.

Acting-Break O'Day Mayor Hannah Rubenach said the council was required by legislation to publish the registered name on the title attached to an unpaid rate debt.

"It certainly doesn't suggest that they are negligent in not paying," she said. "We simply have to follow the regulations and there is no other option for us."

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