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Gladstone Regional Council, like all Local Governments in Queensland, gains the bulk of its operating budget revenue through general rates and service charges.
Frequency of rate notices
Receiving your rate notices
Past rate notices
How rates are calculated
Paying by instalments
State Emergency Management Levy
Constant Flow Scheme Advice
Frequently asked questions
Forms and other information
General rates are essentially a tax on properties to cover the costs of providing services and infrastructure to a community. How Council's total rates revenue is divided across a community is guided by the distribution of that community's land valuations. Service charges are applied to properties that receive a specific service.
As of the 2019/20 financial year, Council made the decision to revert to annual rates notice.
Water consumption notices will still be issued half yearly with the rate notice (August) and in February.
Rate and water notices are issued via Australia Post as mailed letters.
Registered online users will be advised by email when electronic copies of their notices are available online, shortly after they are issued by post. To view your notice online, register as a user on Council's Online Services. Registration can take a couple of days while entered details are matched against our rates database. Once registered you can sign in to view your rate notice and your history of payments and property valuations.
If you have recently moved, don't forget to update your postal details with Council so your notices go to the right place.
Community members are invited to view information about how rates are calculated.
Rate and water notices are available online soon after their postal issue.
Rates and water notices are available online for all financial years from 2009/2010 or from when you purchased a property after that year.
Rates and water notices prior to that year can be obtained, if necessary, by contacting Council on (07) 4970 0700 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite popular belief, local government rates are not determined by a simple 'my property value' x 'general rate' = 'my bill' equation.
To make rates as fair as possible, all local governments apply more considered equations to their rate notices, in accordance with the Local Government Regulation.
The first step is to determine how much rates revenue must be generated in order to deliver the wants and needs of the community.
A reduction or increase in a community's property values does not necessarily result in an equal reduction or increase in the costs of providing services to that community.
The State Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines and Energy (DNRME) Valuer-General is responsible for valuing all properties in the region. Any valuation enquiries should be directed to DNRME on 13 74 68.
The required rates revenue is therefore spread across a community according to the distribution of its properties' values.
This distribution of property values across a community typically fluctuates from year to year. Some years a drop or rise in value can be evenly spread across all properties. Other years a pocket of properties will experience a dip or rise in value that is steeper than other properties in the region.
The relatively fixed cost of providing adequate services, combined with uneven levels of property value changes, explains why a drop or rise in a property's value doesn't necessarily result in an associated drop or rise in its rates.
Therefore, an individual property's rates bill is governed by its value compared to other properties in the region and the fixed costs of its Council.
A rate cap is also applied to reduce the impact of large valuation increases on residential, rural, small businesses and light industrial properties.
This financial year, general rates have increased, on average, by 1.94 per cent. But, as explained above, rates for individual properties will vary – some will receive a decrease, others will experience no change, and some will experience an increase of up to our cap of 10 per cent, for residential properties and 15 per cent for business/commercial properties.
What is in the Rates booklet 2019-20?
- Key Services for the 2019/20 financial year. Council’s Vision, ‘CONNECT. INNOVATE. DIVERSIFY.’ guides how we meet the needs of our community and how we will deliver on them in 2019/20
- Funding Highlights for the 2019/20 financial year
- Budgets by Numbers for the 2019/20 financial year
- Rates at a Glance comparative figures 2018/19 to 2019/20 on Inflation of Council Costs, Average Residential General Rates, Water Availability Charge, Water Consumption Charge, Sewerage Charge, Garbage Collection Charge
- Brief information on Rating Categorisation, Instalment Plan, Discount Periods, Annual Notice, How to Pay your Rates, Objecting to your Rate Category, the State Government’s Emergency Management Levy and Pensioner Remission conditions.
What information does the Special Budget Meeting Minutes give me?
- Mayor's 2019/20 Budget
- Mayor's 2019/2020 Budget Overview
- Revenue Statement
- Long-Term Financial Forecast
- Debt Policy
- Projected Financial Statements for Year End 30 June 2020
- Rate Payment Period and Discounts
- Differential General Rates
- Pensioner Remission
- Waste Cleansing Charges
- Water Charges
- Sewerage Charges
- Special Charges
- Fees and Charges for the 2019/2020 Financial Year
- Operational Plan and Budget Adoption
What is the Revenue Statement Policy?
The Revenue Statement has been prepared using the guidelines set out in Council's adopted Revenue Policy. Council's Revenue Statement will state:
a) if the local government levies differential general rates –
b) if the local government levies special rates or charges for a joint government activity - a summary of the terms of the joint government activity; and
c) if the local government fixes a cost-recovery fee - the criteria used to decide the amount of the cost-recovery fee; and
d) if the local government conducts a business activity on a commercial basis - the criteria used to decide the amount of the charges for the activity's goods and services.
In addition, Council's Revenue Statement must include for the financial year:
a) an outline and explanation of the measures that the local government has adopted for raising revenue, including an outline and explanation of –
i. the rates and charges to be levied in the financial year; and
ii. the concessions for rates and charges to be granted in the financial year;
b) whether the local government has made a resolution limiting an increase of rates and charges.
An owner may object to the land categorisation by lodging a notice of objection in writing and signed by the landowner within 30 days of the rate notice date of issue. The sole grounds on which the owner may object is that, having regard to the criteria by which rateable land is categorised by Gladstone Regional Council, the land should have been included in another category. The objection must clearly state the facts and circumstances on which the objection is made.
Please note that giving a notice of objection will not, in the meantime, affect the levy and recovery of rates. If your objection is upheld, a rate adjustment will be made at that time.
Council currently offers two discount options for full payments of general rates and service charges received either early or by the due date.
If you pay within 30 days of the issue date you will receive a 10 per cent discount on your rate notice. If you miss this timeframe but pay by the 60 days due date you will receive a five per cent discount. It is important to note that discounts do not apply to the State Government Emergency Management Levy or water consumption charges.
You must ensure your payment is received by the deadline to ensure the discount is applied.
Note regarding the 2019/2020 Rating Period
Gladstone Regional Council voted to extend the discount period for the 2019 rates notice at the general meeting 3 September 2019. The amendment extended the 10 per cent discount period to 18 November 2019 and the five per cent discount period extended to 18 December 2019.
The following payment methods can be used to pay your rates notice.
All payments must be received by Council prior to the discount expiry date for a discount to apply.
Please factor in delays in payment deliveries, for example via mail or your banking institution, when timing your payments.
- Council's Online Services portal - Online Services offers the ability to make a payment or register to also view your history of rate notices and payments.
- BPAY - Use the biller code and reference number on the front of your rate notice when accessing your bank's online banking service.
Ratepayers are advised to make BPAY payments at least two days prior to the discount deadline to ensure Council receives the payment in time. Please also consider potential postal delays if paying by mail.
- BPAY - Call your bank to pay by BPAY using the biller code and reference number on the front of your rate notice.
- Cheques and money orders made payable to Gladstone Regional Council and accompanied by the bottom portion of your rate notice. Post-dated cheques will not be accepted. If paying the nett amount to take advantage of the discount, payment must be received by the due date. Council is not responsible for postal delivery times.
- Council Offices - Payment can be made at any Council Office or Rural Transaction Centre. Cash, cheque, money orders, eftpos and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Bankcard and American Express) are all accepted.
- Australia Post - Payments can be made at any Australia Post office with a copy of your rate notice. Cash, cheque or eftpos payments are accepted. Credit card payments are not accepted by Australia Post.
- You may wish to authorise Council to withdraw a regular amount from your bank account on the 21st of each month. This can be to meet approved instalment arrangements, or just to make payments in advance for your next notice.
- The lump sum direct debit option authorises Council to withdraw the required amount to pay your rate and/or water notices on the day prior to the due date.
Wage or Centrelink deductions
- Centrepay - Ratepayers who receive payments from Centrelink can arrange for regular, automatic rate deductions from their fortnightly Centrelink payment.Payments can be set up from your MyGov account or by contacting Centrelink.
The Centrepay reference number is 555076313K. Please use your assessment number from your rate notice as Council's reference number.
- Wage deductions - Gladstone Ports Corporation and Queensland Health have arrangements with Council to make optional, regular rates deductions from employees' wages. Employees should contact their employer directly to arrange.
- Overseas residents are required to forward remittances by bank draft in Australian currency to avoid short payments as a result of currency fluctuations.
Property owners who experience difficulty meeting their rate payments should contact Council immediately to ensure a payment agreement can be negotiated before the due date.
To take advantage of Council's instalment payment scheme, ratepayers can fill out the form on the back of their rates notice and return it to their local Council office in person, by email to email@example.com or by mail to PO Box 29, Gladstone Qld 4680.
Alternatively complete the rate instalment application form and return to Council via one of the above methods.
Council accepts payment in advance of your rate notice. You can pay as much and as frequently as you choose to get your assessment in credit prior to the issue of notices.
Pre-payments can be made via Council's Online Services (either as a registered user or by quoting the reference number on your most recent rate notice). You can also use the BPAY details from your last notice to set up regular internet banking transfer or by visiting a Council Office or Rural Transaction Centre or by phoning us on (07) 4970 0700.
Amounts paid in advance show as prepayments on your next rate notice.
Overdue rates accrue interest at a rate of 9.83 per cent per annum calculated from the due date. Refer to Council's Rating Financial Hardship Policy.
Queensland’s Local Government Regulation 2012 gives Council permission to sell the land if rates remain unpaid for 3 or more years for land with a dwelling or after 12 months for vacant land or commercial properties. It is Council’s policy to conduct sale of land auctions on an annual basis in order to recover outstanding rates.
Council levies and collects the State Emergency Management Levy on behalf of the State Government for the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
In previous years, this levy has been known as the Annual State EMFR Levy, State Government Fire Levy or Urban Fire Levy.
The Urban Fire Levy Scheme was introduced in 1984 to partially fund the Queensland Fire Service. Since then the Fire Service and the Levy have both evolved.
Today we have the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), one organisation with many services, working with our partners in the community to plan for and mitigate the full range of natural and other hazards we face. QFES delivers its emergency management services through the Fire and Rescue Service, Rural Fire Service Queensland and the State Emergency Service and the Emergency Management Levy remains its primary source of funding.
The Levy is established in the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (the Act) which applies a levy on properties within levy districts. The Act places a legal obligation on local governments to administer the levy, which is collected through local government rate notices.
The Levy is applied to all Queensland property to ensure there is a sustainable funding base for our fire and emergency services and recognises that all Queenslanders are at risk from a wide range of emergencies including floods, cyclones, storms as well as fire and accidents.
To discuss how Council has determined the State Emergency Management Levy classification on your assessment please contact the Revenue Services team on (07) 4970 0700.
For further information regarding this levy please visit the QFES website or call 13 74 68. A discount does not apply to the State Emergency Management Levy.
Council and the State Government recognise the special needs of pensioners and offer a Pension Remission of rates to financially assist eligible pensioners. The remission encourages pensioners to be independent and live in their own home where possible, which Council believes provides a ‘quality of life’ benefit.
The State Government Subsidy grants a remission of 20 per cent of all rates and charges (to a maximum of $200) and 20 per cent on the State Emergency Management Levy, per year for the pensioner’s principle place of residence.
To be eligible you must be a holder of a current:
- Centrelink Queensland Pensioner Concession Card
- Veteran Affairs Gold Card, or
- Veteran Affairs Pensioner Concession Card.
Council also provides a further subsidy of 50 per cent of the General Rate to a maximum of $295 per year to pensioners who:
- Meet the above State Government Guidelines
- Reside in an approved residence which complies with Standard Building Law.
To apply, complete a Pensioner Remission Application Form and return together with copies of the front and back of your pension card by email, post or in person at any Council office. For assistance please contact us on (07) 4970 0700.
The State Government does not currently provide rebates for Seniors Cards, Health Care Cards, Health Benefit Cards and Repatriation Health cards for special conditions.
Constant flow schemes are low cost water supply schemes specifically designed for acreage type developments to deliver a limited quantity of water on a continuous basis.
To fully utilise the supply, it is necessary to provide sufficient on-site storage to collect and store all water not immediately consumed. Storage facilities, particularly those used for domestic consumption, should be fully enclosed. Open structures, like dams, should be avoided since most of the water would be lost through evaporation and seepage. Where elevated storage cannot be provided on-site, a small pressure system may be required to ensure that adequate flow and pressure is achieved.
Constant flow schemes are not designed to cater for fire fighting flows. Property owners are required to make their own arrangements in this regard.
A range of connection sizes are available to cater for different usage patterns. Table 1 indicates the standard connection sizes available, together with daily and annual quantities. Annual water charges for the different flow rates are detailed in Council’s Rates and Charges Booklet.
Total Annual Flow
(the standard urban allocation in the Region is 368 KL/annum)
Flow is controlled by means of a special restrictor valve which is designed to deliver a uniform flow rate, irrespective of pressure (within the limits set by the manufacturer). As a consequence, Council will guarantee the instantaneous flow rates stated in Table 1, to within +/- 10%, provided no part of the delivery system (or storage tank) exceeds the following maximum service levels:
- All properties between Mount Elizabeth and the intersection of Weeroona Road/Dawson Highway – RL80m (AHD)
- All properties in Chamberlain Road and along the Dawson Highway to Clyde Creek – RL 60m (AHD)
- All properties north of Clyde Creek including Wyndham, Schultz, Jefferis & Siding Roads – RL 50m (AHD)
Service connections located above these elevations are likely to suffer severe reductions in flow, particularly as more and more properties are connected to the scheme. Consequently, Council will take no responsibility for any reduction in flow rate, where the storage facility, or any inlet pipework, is above these elevations.
Whilst Council may be able to assist to some extent in relation to contour levels, it is the property owners’ responsibility to determine and ensure that they do not exceed these maximum service levels.
Limit of Council responsibilities
As with urban schism Council is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system up to and including the service connection assembly, which is normally located just inside the property boundary. All pipework, fittings, tanks, pressure systems, etc installed beyond this point are the responsibility of the property owner.
Water meters are not installed since the flow control valve will normally guarantee a constant flow rate. Periodic testing however is carried out by Council staff at the connection point to ensure that each service receives its guaranteed flow, consequently the size of the valve may be adjusted at Council’s discretion, to ensure that this is achieved.
With the exception of the stopcock, which may be turned on or off as required, it is an offence to interfere in any way with any other fittings or pipework installed at the connection point.
Responsibilities of property owner
All property owners are required to provide and maintain their own on-site storage facilities and all pipework between the connection point and storage tank. Property owners are also responsible for the provision and maintenance of any internal pressure system and the protection of the connection point itself.
All storage tanks connected to the reticulated water supply must be provided with an air gap on the storage inlet (ie: there must be a gap between the top water level and the inlet pipe). The installation of a float control valve on the tank inlet would normally ensure that an air gap is provided.
The delivery line between the connection point and the storage tank should be direct so as to avoid any possibility of backflow. Where in Council’s opinion, such a possibility exists, a backflow prevention device may be fitted to the connection point, at the property owners’ expense. Under no circumstances shall any internal pressure system be connected to the delivery line between the connection point and the storage facility inlet.
Changing connection size
Upon application, connection sizes may be changed to any of the sizes in Table 1. Any request to change the connection size must be in writing and accompanied by the prescribed service alteration fee.
Useful hints for new participants
The size of the on-site storage facility will depend on personal usage patterns, however a capacity in the order of 45,000 litres (10,000 gallons) would normally be adequate.
Should any storage facilities exist and be less than 45,000 litres, it is suggested that such facilities be retained and upgraded only if they are not sufficient to cater for peak demands (ie: if the tank regularly runs dry or nearly dry).
The temptation to increase the connection size to solve peak demand problems should be resisted if the storage volume is inadequate. Unless there is a constant demand at this higher flow, the larger size will only result in increased overflowing or bypassing and may necessitate the periodic isolation of the system. In any event, it will cost more whether the water is used or not.
Similarly, if peak demands have little effect on the total storage and the tank is frequently running over or bypassing, it is likely that the connection size is too large. Savings on water charges may be achieved by reducing the size of the connection.
Where personal usage patterns are unknown, it is suggested that a service size of 0.7 or 1.0 litres/minute be initially installed and monitored for a period of at least 6 months. If more or less water is required, the size can be changed at any time.
The service line between the connection point and the storage tanks should be equivalent to class 12 polyethylene, as quite high pressures may be experienced if the line is isolated. The size of the service is up to the individual property owner, however 25mm or 32mm O.D lines are quite common and normally quite adequate for this type of scheme.
Where possible, Council staff will liaise with property owners and attempt to provide water connections at nominated locations. As a general rule, where properties are large (eg greater than 5 Ha) and where the main is on the same side of the road as the property, Council will install the service at any (reasonable) nominated point.
Where the main is on the opposite side of the road it may be necessary to cross the road at one of the side boundaries. In any event, property owners are encouraged to sketch the desired location of their service connection point on the back of the water application form to permit a preliminary inspection.
Scheme charges for new participants
The following charges apply to all new participants within the defined scheme area:
- Scheme headworks charge
- Water connection ‘at actual cost’ (minimum fee applies)
- Annual water charge (depending on size of the service installed).
Details on the defined scheme area and the above charges are available on request.
I live in a unit and my property value is incorrect/Why is the value of my property so much when I live in a unit?
The rates notice displays the total complex site value at the top of the notice. At the bottom of the notice is the individual unit valuation (apportionment/entitlement/share). This is what is used to calculate the rates levied.
What is the Water Availability and Water Consumption charge?
Water charges are determined on a user pays basis and collected to fully recover the cost of provision of infrastructure and the cost of operating and maintaining the water supply system.
The water charges on rate notices are charged on a two-part tariff (fixed cost and consumption) system comprising of:
Water Availability Charge: for all properties (vacant or developed) within the serviceable area a fixed cost component is levied.
Water Consumption Charge: a charge for every kilolitre (1,000 litres) you use. Your average daily consumption in litres is shown on the graph on your six-monthly water notice.
I recently purchased the property, why am I getting billed for water consumption from previous months?
It is suggested that discussion is had with your solicitor or conveyancer who dealt with the property purchase. Council is unaware of property sale contractual agreements.
Council will issue rate notices to property owner at the time of levy.
Do I have a water meter on my property?
You will need to contact Council to confirm if you have water access charges, water available for connection and any water consumption charges if you did not receive a notice or you believe it to be incorrect.
How does Gladstone Regional Council compare to other councils?
Gladstone Regional Council has worked with the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) to be involved in My Council Story.
This initiative provides interactive and visual tools for residents to better understand their local government area in context to other similar or neighbouring Councils. It also provides a clear snapshot of our local government area – it tells the whole story of our community.
- Pets and Animals
- Community Development
- Community Investment