Fees and charges will be up for discussion at tomorrow's council meeting.
Fees and charges will be up for discussion at tomorrow's council meeting.

Suite of fees and charges on the council chopping board

FINANCIAL relief for producers around the region will come if Southern Downs councillors decide to remove a suite of fees and charges in the wake of crippling drought.

Eight different fees will be on the chopping board at tomorrow's general council meeting.

These include a $28.50 per day fee for the hire of spray equipment and infrastructure levies for cattle, goats, sheep and horses at the Warwick and Stanthorpe saleyards.

Holding fees and transhipping fees will also be waived under the recommendations.

If approved in full, the removal of fees will result in combined savings of about $93,500 to local landowners and producers.

Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said the recommendations were a sign the council was doing its bit to take financial burden off residents while drought conditions continue.

"Councillors will make decisions and they will put forward more ideas in the meeting,” Cr Dobie said.

These measures are the first stage in a long-term drought management strategy, according to the mayor.

Downs Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie said the council would be looking at long-term drought management strategies.
Downs Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie said the council would be looking at long-term drought management strategies. Nicole Zurcas

"There is a lot going on in the community and across Australia and we need to have a long-term strategy in place,” Cr Dobie said.

But landowners are unlikely to see any relief from levies under the Invasive Pest Control Scheme, despite an online petition which now has 358 signatures.

The petition calls for the council to overturn a levy of $500 or more imposed on landowners who don't comply with weed and pest management obligations.

Councillors will vote on a recommendation to not amend the IPCS, but to waive hire fees for herbicide application equipment indefinitely.

The council is also looking at ways to reduce its urban water consumption in response to a growing demand on urban water from rural properties that need to supplement their water tanks with the urban supply.

FEES AND CHARGES TO BE REMOVED UNDER RECOMMENDATIONS

Sale of Organic Material from Waste Facilities

Mulch per cubic metre: $9.00

Mulch (when loaded by hand) per cubic metre: $6.00

Hire of Spray Equipment Unit to Farmer Groups and individuals

Per week: $114.00

Per day: $28.50

Cattle (including one-off scale NLIS scan)

Infrastructure replacement levy per head: $1.05

Sheep and goats

Infrastructure replacement levy per head: $0.35

Horses

Infrastructure replacement levy per head $ 1.05

Transhipping fees

Infrastructure replacement levy (cattle and horses) per head: $1.05

Infrastructure replacement levy (sheep and goats) per head: $0.35

Private Weighing's (including one-off scale NLIS scan)

Infrastructure replacement levy per head: $1.05

Holding rees - except in relation to use of the yards for regional events where there is a recognised community benefit (eg Warwick Campdraft and Rodeo, Warwick Show etc) where no holding fee will be applicable:

Infrastructure replacement levy per head (cattle): $1.05



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