November 8, 2023
South Burnett Regional Council’s new rating categories for piggeries will now only apply to active piggeries after Council staff discovered there are fewer in the region than previously thought.
The SBRC introduced four new piggery categories in this year’s Budget with an eye to possibly introducing a higher rate for piggeries at some point in the future.
However, when Council sent out letters to advise properties that held piggery licences there would be no financial affect on them in 2023-24, staff discovered that not all properties approved to operate a piggery actually have one.
At Wednesday’s Liveability standing committee meeting, Councillors were told a number of property owners who received the letters had contacted Council in protest.
They told staff that while they may have once operated a piggery, they no longer did so.
However, they were reluctant to cancel their licence because of the difficulty of obtaining a new one and the extra value a licence could add to a property’s sale, so they had elected to suspend their licence instead.
Councillors were told that in light of this, staff had recommended properties with suspended piggery licences should continue to be rated as rural.
However, the status of all the region’s piggery licences will now be reviewed annually using data provided by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and any properties that reactivated a suspended licence would be automatically reclassified from rural to one of the new piggery categories.
Councillors agreed to this proposal unanimously.