2021/2022 Budget - 1.5 per cent rate rise, some hardship relief remains
The City of Greater Bendigo’s proposed 2021/2022 Budget is based on a 1.5 per cent increase to rate revenue, in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System.
Due to rising landfill fees levied by the Environment Protection Authority, the general waste charge will increase. For a property with a 140L bin, this equates to an extra $27.
The recycling and organic waste charges will increase by 1.5 per cent.
The Budget will continue to offer businesses experiencing financial hardship relief from local laws and environmental health fees. Outdoor dining, A frame and ‘goods on footpath’ fees will be waived, as they were last financial year.
Several community fees and charges were frozen last year in response to COVID-19 and have been frozen at 2019/2020 levels for another year, such as parking fees, swimming pool entry and costs to hire community facilities. Individuals and businesses experiencing financial hardship will again be able to apply for a rates deferral.
Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said the waste charges reflected the cost of providing the service.
“Council does not make a profit from waste services. It is an essential service and one that is impacted by various external factors beyond Council’s control,” Cr Alden said.
“Council acknowledges the ongoing financial hardship that many businesses will face until travel and physical distance restrictions ease completely. The City has provided various support measures to businesses over the past year and will continue to ensure businesses that are struggling are provided relief from fees.
“However, as business conditions improve, it is critical for us to continue to provide services to our community, which we cannot do without the revenue that comes from rates.
“We have tried to find a balance between providing assistance on a needs-basis, and ensuring that we cover our costs and can continue to provide services in the long term.
“We know it has been an unprecedented and extremely difficult year for many people and businesses, but we are hopeful economic conditions will continue to improve this year.”