Mayor: Headworks charge ‘not unfair, not retrospective’

Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Bill Taylor has rejected claims that headworks charges on a soon-to-be-developed Eden block are unfair.

Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Bill Taylor has rejected claims that headworks charges on a soon-to-be-developed Eden block are unfair.

Mayor Bill Taylor says headworks charges on the development of a site in Lakeside Drive are not retrospective, or unfair.

SEE RELATED STORY: "I'M FURIOUS": ANGRY RETIREE FIGHTS BACKDATED CHARGES

“Council policy is that, they (the Warwicks) have had their block of land but it’s not developed. 

“It’s the Development Application that triggers the obligation to contribute to that already existing capacity to deal with their need for water and to discharge sewage.

“The Water Management Act governs what local government can do both in the charging of supply of water and also for charging in relation to management of the sewage.

“It’s not a retrospective charge.

“It’s not a debt on the land,” he said.

Mr Taylor went on to say that the full headworks charges for the Lakeside Drive block would have been in the order of $18,000 upon development, had the Warwicks not already paid $12,000 in access contributions in their rates since 2008.

“If someone new comes into town, it’s reasonable and fair that they contribute to the capital assets already in place that allow them to access our water and sewerage systems.

“If that person doesn’t pay, then you and I and every other rate payer in the shire has to pay for it,” he said.

Mr Taylor said that this is the first time a future resident of Eden has made a complaint about headworks charges.

“This is the first actual complaint from a future resident that I’ve had to get involved with.”

Mr Taylor also took issue with Mr Warwick’s suggestion that Council is not helping Eden economically.

“I think it’s patently wrong that council is doing nothing for Eden. 

“We have been pushing Eden for a number of years and that’s plain for everyone to see,” he said.

Bega Valley Shire Council has been instrumental in assisting Eden win $10million in funding for the breakwater wharf extension.

They have contributed $2million in Council funds to support that development.

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