Wingecarribee Shire Council has today welcomed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) decision to grant Council an extension of a further seven years of its current Environment Levy.
“Whilst the application sought to have the Environment Levy included for perpetuity, a seven year continuation is seen as a great result and vindication of the tremendous benefit that the Levy has brought our Shire since its introduction,” said Wingecarribee Shire Council General Manager, Jason Gordon.
As a result of the Environment Levy being introduced in 2000/01, more than 35,000 trees have been planted across the Shire, 280 hectares of bushland has been regenerated, over 14 kilometres of riparian land has been re-established and a community nursery has been established.
The Environment Levy will remain at 3.49 per cent of the average residential rate base.
“Most householders will not notice any significant changes to their rates as it is effectively a continuation of a levy that has been incorporated into their rates for the past ten years,” Mr Gordon added.
Councillor Larry Whipper, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee said the approval was a win for the local environment.
“IPART’s decision to extend the Environment Levy will have far-reaching impacts for years to come,” he said. “I’m confident the approval that was championed by this council will be seen as a benchmark for successive generations to come.”
“I’m also confident that these successive generations will be the beneficiaries of the positive outcomes made possible by this levy.”
The preparation of the Environment Levy submission was compiled after an extensive community engagement program which saw some 5,000 printed surveys randomly distributed throughout the Shire and a further 1,000 surveys issued at market days, displays and information sessions.
“This achievement would not have been possible without the fabulous support we received from the Shire’s residents in the preparation of this submission,” Councillor Whipper added.