Fee issues may see end to circuses

CIRCUSES may not be rolling up to the Southern Downs region if the council goes ahead with increasing the fee for the amusements to use public land.

As part of the council engineering department’s annual review of fees and charges, if approved at next week’s general meeting, circuses will be charge $169 a day.

The issue hadn’t been considered since 1998/99 when council charged a flat fee of $143, but a recent visit from a circus prompted council to reconsider its future charges.

Acting engineering director Adam Colrain told council at yesterday’s engineering committee, employees have to carry out considerable work before and after the visitors, including mowing and cleaning of public toilets.

For Cr Denise Ingram, it seemed unfair however that circuses are not charged a building inspection fee for the erection of their big tents when just this week, Stanthorpe Rotary’s Opera in the Vineyard organisers have been dealing with the bureaucracy of having to get their marquee inspected.

“Either don’t make the odd person with a tent do it or make everyone,” Cr Ingram said.

Most other charges, such as sewerage connections and water services, have a suggested increase of five per cent, which is said to be in line with council’s increase in costs.

Another proposed change to engineering charges is to introduce a region-wide fee of $150 for a driveway application. Previously Stanthorpe local law meant residents in the south of the region have always had to fork out for the property access, however, residents in the north have thus far escaped the charge.

Mr Colrain said the department was trying to unify the two systems, however Cr Peter Blundell was concerned at increasing the price, which was previously $126, by more than the blanket five per cent.

The matter will be discussed again at next week’s general meeting.



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