Reply To: Council Rates

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Bill Gray

On the back of my rates notice it States: if you think you may have difficulty paying the rates by the due date, please contact the rate office immediately to discuss a more suitable method of payment. If you’re suffering financial hardship you can apply in writing to counsel for waiver of rates. Under S 1718 at the local government act 1989.

I emailed the council a letter regarding this, noting that due to financial hardship I can not pay my rates.

Their Reply:
Council has adopted a policy for COVID-19 related financial hardship related applications.

The essence of the policy is that no interest will be charged on late payments for 2020-2021 rates & charges. They will however need to be paid; waiver of the rates is not an available option.

To have interest waived, you will need to enter into a payment arrangement, be that regular payments, i.e. weekly, fortnightly, etc.

For example, a $90 fortnightly payment for the next 20 months, would see your rates and charges paid up to date by end of May 2022.

Or you could make smaller payments, to be increased when things improve.

Please let me know what you decide to be your best option.

I replied,
I am not in a position to pay my rates at the moment and would like to use this option of “S171A of the local government act 1989.” for a waiver that I believe I am entitled and eligible for.

Can you please supply me with the following 3 things?

1. The “lawful reason” I can not have my rates waved for the foreseeable future when it states in S171A of the local government act
1989 that I can?
2. The local government act that overrides “S171A of the local government act 1989.” please.
3. An explanation as to why the option to have Rates Waived is noted on the back of my Rates notice but I am unable to use this option.

I have heard nothing back, That was 2 days ago, I will let you all know what happens when I have more information.