Thanks for that insight. My own take on this is that it is a totally foreseen and inevitable consequence of our current government’s rash promise to freeze council rates. I said at the time that this action would result in any, some, or all of the following consequences;
a) that councils would sack staff (highly unlikely but it is happening right now to some degree),
b) that councils would keep the staff but cut back on services to the citizens (and that is also happening),
c) that council would seek to boost their now ’frozen’ income stream by increasing other ancillary charges, such as fines, license fees for animals, parking charges and, guess what? fees for permits and town planning applications.
Which in the cases you’ve outlined below represents between a 190% – 241% increase in charges for planning applications!!! If private enterprise tried to do that they would be condemned by the entire population, including all levels of government. I wonder how much our state politicians and elected councillors will decide this neat sleight of hand by our ‘public spirited’ leaders? I’ve heard that” The Lord Giveth, and The Lord Taketh Away”, but this little stunt does the complete opposite in that “the government taketh away from itself and then giveth straight back to itself and then some”!
Do they really think we are that stupid? Yet another body blow to the building industry (a major employer), to ordinary Mums and Dads throughout Victoria, and the rungs on the ‘property ladder’ will be getting further apart and higher off the ground as far as first home buyers are concerned. Will we see the level or quality of council services increase and improve by between 190 and 241 %? I very much doubt it from what I’ve seen so far – even 5% of that would be an impossibility.
The rate capping is barely five minutes old and they’ve got a claim in already!!!! Shocked? Surprised? Astonished? No way, it was an obvious political stunt in the first place that really only moved the resources flowing into council from point A to point B. And no doubt there will be more to come; and this from a state government that has just boasted, in a deafening roar, of the state’s Budget Surplus!
Are you as a councillor and are you as a council going to support this intended daylight robbery? Or will you as a body put it off until council elections are over in November and then allow us to be pistol-whipped by these very transparent manoeuvres? What is MAV’s position on this? No doubt they will condone it heartily, and I suspect that almost 100% of Victorian councils will endorse it. A complete cynic would say that this was a pre-arranged stunt between state and local governments in the first place. Just as well that I’m not cynical!!
As far as your comment about your concerns that these increases will be passed on to the end consumer, you are dead right they will – but with margin added + GST on the extra as well. Which, assuming a modest 10% margin added by service providers such as ourselves, will equate to a planning application fee increase of up to 291%!! How is that justifiable?? And guess where the majority of the blame will fall? Yes, that’s right, the public will blame companies like us for gouging them. What a joke! If it wasn’t so sad, under-handed and totally against the very best interests of ordinary people, small business, small and large employers, and the long-term efficiencies and prosperity of the entire state, it would be a joke that might be funny – now it’s merely laughable and shabby.
Hope you can use this rant to benefit some or all of your constituents.
Good morning all
The State Government are undertaking a consultation on new Planning Application Fees to be introduced this coming Financial Year.
Enclosed is the new fees proposed. It means that a single dwelling fee for a development value of between $10,000 – $10,000 goes from $239 to $578 and for all other application over $100,000 the fee goes from $490 to a whopping $1,184.
For 2 or more dwellings on a lot, for applications under $1 million, the fee goes from $815 to $1,567.
We are concerned that this fee will be passed onto the end consumer, compounding the housing affordability crisis.
We will be making our own submission to the State Government on this matter.