The historical development of the city of Sale provides insight into the role Site Rating plays in generating growth and employment.
At the end of August, 1954, ratepayers in the small city of Sale, pop. then 6,000, gave an almost three-to-one decision in favour of adopting the rating of land values. Sale, which covers an area of some 2,500 hectares, lies about three hundred kilometres to the east of Melbourne, and is the centre of agricultural, grazing, irrigation and dairying industries.
In a letter written in July, 1955, Mr. John Blyth, the treasurer of the Sale Rayepayers Association, recounted some of the benefits obtained during the first ten months under the new rating system. His comments are as relevent today as they were when written in 1954.
" First, we were all greatly heartened by the decision of J.J. Davies and Son to start manufacturing in Sale in what was the woollen mills. This industry was our first proof of the value of the new system, and as they hope to employ some 160 persons, in the first year, their help to the city is by no means small.
There were several vacant blocks in prominent parts of the city, even in the main street. Two large blocks have changed hands in Raymond Street. On one will be erected a shop for Dalgetys, and on the other a huge block a new garage is planned. Both of these should be in course of construction before the end of July.
Foster Street has shown marked improvement, both in the area near the Post Office one new shop, two shops renovated extensively and three more proposed, Gutheridge House, in course of demolition for additions to St. Annes School and the residential area facing the lake, where three new houses are in course of construction on blocks previously unobtainable.
Blocks in the area bounded by Raglan Street, Gutheridge Parade, Reeve Street, and Foster Street, have been sold and building commenced on land which had been held idle since Sale was first settled. The Ambulance Service has secured land in Cunninghame Street, close to the centre of the town and will build modern offices and residence almost at once; other buildings are proposed in various parts of the city by the Masonic Lodge, and other organisations.
The Memorial Hall, so long wanted by the people, is now under way. Although the change in rating is not directly responsible for this, we feel that they realise the great boost the town has received from site rating, and have pressed on with confidence.
A new hall is being erected on the corner of Macalister and Pearson Streets and a new Presbyterian Church is pushing upward on the corner of Raymond and Macalister Streets.
The council, with an increase in revenue of some £20,000, is pushing on with road works and drainage and in the whole city there is an air of expectancy as job after job is started, and jobs which have sadly wanted doing for many years are completed.
At the moment, two firms interested in manufacturing in Sale are seeking premises, and hope to use some of the abundant female labour. The need for this will be still further increased when J.J. Davies are properly under way, as they will employ mainly men. We are hoping to interest other firms in the great possibilities of Sale in view of the available labour.
Naturally, we cannot tell you of all the wonderful improvements we have noticed since we changed to Site Rating, but you cant fail to notice it, and also the feeling that Sale is on the verge of many great things."
It is clear that Site Rating;