As part of Council's commitment to improved stormwater infrastructure maintenance and healthy catchments; a Stormwater Management Charge (SMC) for residential and business premises has been implemented as part of the 2010/11 to 2015/16 Council Management Plan.
The NSW Government introduced legislation in 2006 to enable all local councils to apply a stormwater management charge to residential and business properties, where Council supplies a stormwater service for new and/or additional stormwater services.
How much will I be charged?
Each residential property in the Shire will be charged $25 as an annual contribution and residential strata properties will be charged $12.50. Business premises will be charged a minimum of $25; plus $25 per 350m2 for business lots. This charge is capped at $325.
You will be exempt from paying the SMC if:
- Your land is rated rural or rural residential;
- Your land is rated residential but currently vacant;
- You are a pensioner;
- Your land is owned by a charity or benevolent institution.
The Stormwater Management Charge will be shown on your rates notice as a separate item. It will become 'Restricted Cash' in the Council budget meaning that it can only be used for the purposes of stormwater management. The estimated amount Council will receive each year is approximately $230,000.
If you consider that you are exempt from paying the SMC as your property is one of the above examples and the the SMC appears on your rates notice, you must complete a Request for Exemption/Variation form and return it to Council.
Stormwater Improvement Program
The Stormwater Improvement Program is a priority list of works targeting private property flooding and long term stormwater management issues which was a large part of the reason for the introduction of the SMC by Council. Council has completed one major project in Wellington Street, Buxton that is aimed to assist residents who have previously had issues with stormwater during significant wet weather events.
Works have also commenced on a major project in Matcham Road, Buxton where several houses have experienced stormwater problems in the past.
Improved maintenance of stormwater pollution control devices
Over the past year Council has undertaken maintenance of more than 160 stormwater pollution control devices located across the Shire. These devices are designed to remove litter, leaves and sediment from stormwater before it is discharged into our waterways. The maintenance undertaken has resulted in more than 50 tonnes of waste being removed and disposed of to land fill that would have otherwise ended up in our waterways.
How can you help our local waterways?
There are many ways that residents can help protect our local waterways by being 'stormwater smart' around the home and at work, including:
- Preventing litter from entering the drains;
- Preventing dirt, sediment and leaves from entering the drains;
- Washing your car on the grass, not the driveway;
- Picking up your dog droppings and disposing of them correctly;
- Ensuring that your on-site sewage management system is operating correctly; and
- Not illegally dumping rubbish in bush and creek areas.
Allowing pollution to enter stormwater drains is an offence under the protection of Environment Operations Act and polluters can be fined $750 or $1,500 on the spot for incidents; and up to $1 million for corporations and $250,000 for individuals. Any person who witnesses pollution or illegal dumping occurring is urged to contact Council 24 hours a day on 4677 1100 or the NSW Government's Environment line on 131 555.