Rubbish cost no longer out of sight or mind

A move to show Mount Gambier residents the cost of their waste management is a step closer to being implemented on rates notices . As of July 1 Mount Gambier City Council is proposing the $200 associated with waste management charges for ratepayers, currently in general rate charges, be deducted and moved to a new, separate waste service charge, an item proposed to appear as a new entry on rates notices.

It comes in the hopes of encouraging “ratepayers to consider their personal environmental impact and the costs associated with waste management,” Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said in council’s 2021/22 Draft Annual Business Plan, which “does not intend to raise overall rates and charges associated”.

Forming a component of council’s 2021/22 Draft Annual Business Plan, the charge would apply for all assessments where applicable, including properties where council applies mandatory or discretionary rebates on the general rates, excluding non-rateable properties.

Council said in its business plan that it does not intend to raise overall rates and charges associated with the waste service charge, adding the charge was calculated based on the 2019/20 and 2020/21 actual and budgeted waste collection, treatment and disposal costs per rateable assessment.

However, the Draft Annual Business Plan shows council does plan to increase overall rates by 4.5%, with council expecting to raise approximately 65% of its operating revenue from rate revenue in the coming financial year.

In addition to a fixed charge on rates and the waste service charge, council will declare differential general rates in the dollar based on land use for rateable land within the council area, but changes to the rate in the dollar are yet to be announced for 2021/22.

Furthermore, preliminary advice received from the South Australian government indicated there will not be a “significant increase” to the Landscape (NRM) levy, which council is required to collect to fund the Limestone Coast Landscape Board.

The report recommendation for the 2021/22 Draft Annual Business Plan was moved by Councillor Max Bruins and seconded by Cr Ben Hood, with the motion carried by council last week. The next step will be community consultation, with a waste service charge FAQ sheet also expected to be released.

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