The SBRC is calling for public input on a new policy that will affect community groups and infrastructure charges

September 2, 2020

The South Burnett Regional Council has called for public comment on a new policy that could mean some community groups will have to pay full Council fees if they have received government funding to help with an infrastructure project.

The new Community Group Infrastructure Charges Policy will offer community groups and charities a 100 per cent reduction in infrastructure charges if they construct new buildings or upgrade existing premises.

Infrastructure charges aim to recover the cost of connecting buildings to key trunk infrastructure such as water and sewerage mains.

However, to receive the full fee waiver applicants will need to show they are:

  • A registered not-for-profit group or charity
  • That they are undertaking a development that benefits the South Burnett community; and
  • That they have not received funding from a government source in the past two years.

If a group has received funding from the government – the most common way many community groups fund upgrades – they will need to pay at least 50 per cent of Council’s infrastructure charges.

And if Council deems the group fails to meet one of its eligibility tests, they will pay the full charge.

If adopted, the policy will mean charities or not-for-profits which receive a government grant to build community infrastructure should allow for infrastructure charges in their grant application.

If they fail to do this or have their request rejected by the funding body, they will need to carry the cost themselves.

The new policy follows in the footsteps of other changes Council introduced in July 2017.

At that time the SBRC slashed rebates on building application fees for community groups from almost 100 per cent down to a maximum of 50 per cent.

The proposed new Community Group Infrastructure Charges Policy can be viewed on Council’s website

Feedback can be made in writing by email by 5:00pm on Monday, September 21.

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