Editorial – Which Byron Council services could see an increase? – echo

ICYMI, Council staff have drafted a budget, and it is on display! If approved, without any tinkering by our majority of knowledgeable and handsome advisors, waste disposal rates will increase by approximately 17%.

In addition, the cost of modifying a Large Development Approval (DA) could also experience significant increases of up to 300%, depending on the stage of the AD and its type.

A quick look at the Fees and Charges document shows how well-governed Australian society is.

Whether that means sending your child to a Council-run after-school and holiday care center (these costs would increase under this budget) or being buried in a Council-run cemetery (this fee is also expected to increase by around 3.5%), there are a lot of fees and charges in between.

Renting a vacation cabin at First Sun Holiday Park would only cost a little more under this proposal, while paid parking in the bay would increase by a modest $1 to $5 per hour.

The rationale for increased waste disposal (page 7) is due to “external costs such as Qld tax on waste, transport (fuel) and treatment of organics”.

On page 77, all the services and costs of the Byron Resource Recovery Center are shown, along with the cost of disposing of green waste, recyclables, metal and tires and gas appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioning units which should increase.

The biggest proposals for increases in the budget proposal appear to be for the modification of a major development request (DA). This information can be found on page 109.

The cost of “Minor modification (single site and not requiring a review by a supporting studies specialist) – stage 2 before the gateway” would increase from $4,000 to $13,000 (225%). A “Minor Modification (single site and not requiring a review by a supporting studies specialist) – Stage 3 after gateway” would increase from $2,000 to $7,000 (250%). A “major modification (multiple sites and/or requiring specialist review of supporting studies) – pre-Stage 1 meeting and report” would increase from $7,000 to $10,000 (42.86%). A “Major Modification (multiple sites and/or requiring specialist review of supporting studies) – Stage 2 before Gateway would increase from $10,000 to $35,000 (250%).

And a “major modification (multiple sites and/or requiring specialist review of supporting studies) – Stage 3 after gateway” would go from $5,000 to $20,000 (300%).

The submission of a DA “not involving the construction of a building, the carrying out of work or the subdivision of land” would increase from $285 to $333, while a DA “consisting of the construction of a dwelling house when the estimated cost of construction is $100,000 or less” will increase from $455 to $532. The cost of “construction of a building or other work estimated to cost up to $5,000” remains $110.

The good news is that room hire and use of the sports grounds are not expected to increase, although the costs of some Cavanbah Center activities will increase.

The fees and charges document can be found in the five documents of the Draft delivery schedule 2022–26 and Operational Plan 2022-2023. They are available on the Council’s website: www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/dpop. Comments are open until June 10.

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