At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Wednesday 12 April 2017, Armidale Regional Council Administrator Dr Ian Tiley endorsed the Draft 2017-2018 Fees and Charges for Public Exhibition for 28 days from Thursday 13 April, 2017.
Due to the amalgamation of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Councils, the new council was required to adopt standard fees and charges to be applied across the new local government area.
The fees and charges applied by council include regulatory charges set by the NSW Government as well as partial and full cost recovery fees and charges in line with Council’s cost recovery policy. Depending on charges that were previously applied by the former councils, harmonisation has required some charges to be decreased while others will increase or remain the same. In some cases, where resources were not previously available to provide some services, new services have now been introduced.
A user pays system places less dependency on Council’s general fund and revenue raised through rates. By charging, wherever practical, for different services available to the community on a user pays basis, Council is subsidising less services, this provides a fairer system for the whole community.
Armidale Regional Council CEO Peter Dennis said it was important for the community to understand that the new fees and charges cover a wider scope of services provided by a larger Council.
“Guyra region residents will see some new charges that were not included in the former Guyra Shire Council’s Fees and Charges. The draft fees and charges now cover a larger scope of services that are offered to the new local government area. The impact these fees have on members of the community depends on the level of service you require or utilise as a ratepayer, resident or through business,” said Peter Dennis.
“For example Engineering Plans and Inspection Fees – the fee for Subdivision Construction Certificate per Lot has been reduced by $1,250 in Guyra and the fee has been split to include four new services at lower individual cost - user pays.”
Following the harmonisation of fees and charges of the two former Council’s all legislated fees have been set at a level determined by the State. All contestable fees for services such as building and inspections which may be provided by private certifiers for Constructions Certificates, Complying Development Certificates and Bushfire Hazard classifications have again been reviewed and reflect the actual cost associated with that service to ensure that the general ratepayer is not subsidising operations which are cost recoverable.
Some fees across the former Councils may be different and in line with the level of service provided in that area. For example cemetery charges; Armidale Mall; parks and playing field fees; Aquatic Centres; Hire of facilities including halls, buildings, meeting rooms and Animal Impounding fees will be different. Over time, some of these fees will be further reviewed to ensure both the fees and the service level are aligned wherever possible.
In the coming year there will be no change to water service and consumption fees or Guyra Home Support Services fees. The majority of Development Applications fees will remain the same or have slight increases for some services. Examples of some fees and charges that have been increased approximately by CPI include Sewer services, Waste Collection and Service Charges and the Guyra Preschool fees.
To view the Draft 2017-2018 Fees and Charges and comparison document visit Council’s engagement hub at yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au
Hard copies can be viewed at the Armidale Office 135 Rusden Street, Armidale or the Guyra Office at 158 Bradley Street, Guyra.
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Armidale Regional Council ‘Draft 2017-2018 Fees and Charges’ PO Box 75 A Armidale, NSW 2350
Published on 19 Apr 2017