Tatiara council opposes levy

TATIARA District Council strongly objects to any levies on its ratepayers/landowners.

Discussing the much-talked about SE drainage system and a potential levy to cover its maintenance at its January meeting last week, the council put forward its position in the form of a submission to the community panel charged with deciding how funding for maintenance would be achieved.

It was noted that both the Lower SE Drainage and the Upper SE Drainage systems are vital to the economy and the environment of the Limestone Coast region, hence they need to be maintained adequately.

The council said the amount to be spent on maintaining the drainage system should be a compromise between a figure calculated from a proper asset management plan and what funds the State and region can afford, stating it was obvious that this figure was going to be much more than $2.2 million (the State Government’s annual contribution) but it could be considerably less than the 3 per cent of capital cost figure.

The council strongly believes that it is the State Government’s responsibility to make a major contribution over and above the $2.2 million it has committed to maintain this important state infrastructure, especially as the drains are vital for proper environmental management.

If a levy was to be introduced, the council recommended two separate levies based on the two different drainage schemes.

It said the Lower SE scheme is much older, has no benefit to the Upper SE and has many more major structures that will need replacing.

If a levy was implemented, council said those who benefit from the drainage schemes should contribute to the maintenance costs.

The original Upper SE A, B, C Drainage levy system does not reflect the areas benefiting from the drainage system.

A significant portion of the Tatiara district does not benefit from the drainage system.

The submission closed with the point that the Tatiara District Council strongly objects to any levies on its ratepayers/landowners.

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