Sewage strat­egy changes

The Free Press (Corowa) - - LOCALREALESTATE - BY ROBERT MUIR

Coun­cil adopted the strat­egy at its monthly meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 16 fol­low­ing three months of pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion and con­sid­er­a­tion.

Re­duced fees and charges, and the fol­low­ing changes have been made to coun­cil’s pol­icy: clar­i­fy­ing re­quire­ments for com­mer­cial and pack­age plant sys­tems; in­clu­sion of how aban­doned and derelict houses with sep­tic sys­tems will be man­aged and when a sys­tem is to be de­com­mis­sioned; in­clu­sion for all new sys­tems in­stalled to be ac­cred­ited sys­tems by NSW Health; prop­erty own­ers with an AWTS sys­tem to en­ter into a ser­vice agree­ment with an ap­proved ser­vice agent; de­scrip­tion and ex­am­ples of failed sys­tems; up­dated Aus­tralian stan­dards and guide­lines ref­er­enced in the strat­egy.

“With this strat­egy, Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil aims to have the least in­tru­sion to prop­erty own­ers and res­i­dents, with the in­tro­duc­tion of a risk rat­ing sys­tem,” coun­cil’s act­ing direc­tor in­fra­struc­ture and en­vi­ron­ment Steve Carmichael said.

“The higher the risk of a sys­tem, the higher the fre­quency of in­spec­tions and sub­se­quently fees - coun­cil be­lieves this is an ap­pro­pri­ate means of cal­cu­lat­ing in­spec­tion fre­quency and in­spec­tion fees.”

Mr Carmichael ac­knowl­edged coun­cil’s con­cerns raised by ratepay­ers that the pro­posed fees and charges would be a bur­den to some prop­erty own­ers.

“There­fore it is pro­posed that the an­nual man­age­ment fee levied on the rates is re­duced from $25 to $20 per year,” he said. “The in­spec­tion fee is re­duced from $154 to $120 and the re-in­spec­tion fee is re­duced from $100 to $80.

“While the re­duc­tion in fees does not al­low for full cost re­cov­ery to de­liver this ser­vice, it is recog­nised that this pro­gram pro­vides ben­e­fits to the en­tire com­mu­nity and there­fore par­tial fund­ing from the gen­eral rates is con­sid­ered a rea­son­able ap­proach in this in­stance.”

The draft pol­icy was on pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion from July to Septem­ber. “There were 26 phone calls, six writ­ten sub­mis­sions and one sub­mis­sion made in per­son. There were also nu­mer­ous en­quiries at the counter from peo­ple want­ing to view a copy of the strat­egy,” Mr Carmichael said.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s draft on-site sewage man­age­ment strat­egy has been con­firmed af­ter changes sug­gested by ratepay­ers were adopted.

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