Find answers to frequently asked questions about rates and water notices issued by us.
First half water notice for 2020-21
Issue date: 28 October 2020
Due date: 12 January 2021
You will receive a supplementary general rate notice if charges on your notice had to be adjusted.
This could be the case if your property was:
Your notices are a legal document under section 104 of Local Government Regulation 2012.
We will not amend the system-generated document if the levied rates and charges are accurate, but we can provide you with a letter confirming the balance of your account.
If adjustments to the rates and charges are required because they’re incorrect, we’ll issue a supplementary notice in accordance with section 109 of the Local Government Regulation 2012.
Printing and mailing council rates and water notices is a specialised service provided by only certain printing and publishing firms that have the necessary technology and programming skills to provide this unique service.
The contract for this work was awarded through our tender process.
In 2018-19, a decision was made to separate the rates and water notices to ease the financial burden on ratepayers. Instead of receiving two notices each year with all of the combined charges on one notice, you receive four notices (two for waste and sewerage charges and two for water access and consumption charges) each year.
Water access charges are levied to recover all of the fixed costs associated with the provision of the water supply system by council. These costs include ongoing operation and maintenance costs.
The access charge did not increase this financial year and has been maintained at $576 per annum for a standard residential meter. Some commercial properties may pay more than this if they have a larger size meter.
To confirm the accuracy of the meter reading, compare the reading on your water notice to the current reading on your physical water meter (read the black digits only). If this is less than the notice reading, please take a photo and send us an email.
If you believe that you have an internal leak and have been charged for excessive consumption, please contact a licenced plumber to investigate for a concealed leak. Based on the plumber’s report, we can provide a rebate under the Concealed Leaks Policy. Apply for a rebate under the Concealed Leaks Policy.
In accordance with section 130 of the Local Government Regulations 2012, a discount of 5% will be allowed to any ratepayers that pays all rates and charges in full, including arrears, within thirty days after the issue of the notice.
Discount applies to all rates and charges except for state fire levies, special rates and charges and water consumption charges.
Pensioner discounts apply to all residential type general rates and charges, except for water consumption and the state emergency and fire levy charge. The Queensland Government subsidises 20% (or a maximum of $200 per annum) and council also offers a 50% subsidy by way of a rebate to approved pensioners.
Am I eligible for the pensioner subsidy?
To be eligible for a pensioner concession the following criteria applies:
How do I apply for the pensioner subsidy?
A pensioner application form must be completed and submitted to council with a copy of your concession card.
As part of the application process and to confirm that the pension card entitlement is current, council will ask you to agree to a Centrelink search. This search is conducted annually by council and produces a report with details that can be matched to council’s rating system. The report only contains information relevant to rating and no personal information is accessed.
What if I do not consent to council verifying my details with Centrelink?
If you indicate on the initial application form that you do not agree to the Centrelink search, council will require you to provide proof from Centrelink every six months that your pension card entitlement is current.
Do I need to reapply every year?
Once you have applied, there is no need to reapply for five years. You will need to reapply if they have purchased or moved to another property in the council region – applications are property specific and pension details are not able to be transferred from one property to another. You may also need to reapply if there have been changes in your pension entitlement.
This concession is 100% of the rates payable on the mining claims and applies to people that pay rates on residential land that is also subject to a mining claim.
Am I eligible for a mining claim concession?
How do I apply for the concession?
You will need to complete the mining claims overlapping of residential tenure form.
Do I need to re-apply each rates period?
You will need to reapply after each levy or once per annum if you meet all the conditions.
Waste management concession for multiple mining claims
This concession is 100% of the waste management charges payable on all mining claims over and above the charges payable one mining claims and 100% of the charges levied on permits to occupy that are attached to a mining claim. This concession applies to people that hold multiple mining claims in the same ownership or contiguous claims are held in the same family unit.
How do I apply for this concession?
You will need to complete the waste management concession on mining claims form
Do I need to reapply each rates period?
You will need to reapply after each levy or once per annum if you meet all the conditions.
Not-for-profit organisations may be entitled to a 100% rebate on general rates.
How to apply
The not-for-profit/sporting concession form needs to be completed and submitted with supporting documentation such as:
Where a commercial property has more than two water connections with one being for dedicated fire service a concession of a reduction in the dedicated fire service to a 20mm connection.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete the dedicated fire service concession form and submit it with supporting documentation that may include, but is not limited to ‘As construction hydraulic plans’.
If you have an undetected water leak that would have contributed to higher than usual water consumption a concession may be available.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete the undetected water leak application form and provide supporting documentation.
Rates can be prepaid using any of the payment methods listed above.
If you wish to set up a direct debit arrangement through council, you are required to complete separate direct debit instructions for both general rates and for water.
Direct debits set up through council are processed at the following times:
Please note: A direct debit is a method of payment and does not constitute a payment arrangement with council.
You can set up a formal payment arrangement for the outstanding balance to be paid off over a 6 to 12-month period, depending on the amount outstanding. Adhering to a formal arrangement prevents recovery action being taken by council to collect the outstanding amount. Interest will not be charged on your outstanding balance while adhering to a formal payment arrangement. If you default on your arrangement, interest will be charged at 11% per annum, compounded daily.
It is important to remember that where you are in a payment arrangement for the payment of outstanding rates and water charges and a new levy is issued during the repayment period, you will need to adjust the arrangements to ensure the repayment amount covers the amount of the new levies.
An application to pay rates by instalment form will need to be completed and returned to council.
It is recommended that you commence paying whatever amount you are able to afford as it is important that you are showing a commitment to reducing the outstanding balance of your account.
Although you will still be required to complete a formal application to pay rates by instalment form, council will grant a period of up to three months where interest will not be charged, and recovery action will not be taken, if you make regular repayments during this period.
At the conclusion of the three month period it is expected that you will either enter into a formal arrangement at the required repayment amount or pay the outstanding balance in full.
If neither of these options are achievable it is very important that you speak call us as soon as possible on 1300 242 686 to discuss your options.
All requests to amend, suspend or cancel your direct debit must be in writing to council. Please allow five business days for processing.
Council can either refund this money by cheque or EFT. If you wish to have it by EFT you will need to complete a Creditor Authorisation form.
Alternatively, we can transfer the credit from one rate assessment to another, or to your water account. You will need to complete an Application to transfer credit from rates account form and submit to council.
In late 2019 we upgraded its corporate software system to OneCouncil. It provides many features that will improve our services, including online payments and notices. We’re still in the process of developing these services fully. But you can expect that they will be implemented in the future.
We were also the first council in Australia to levy water using the new OneCouncil system.
Principal place of residence means a place where a person usually or habitually lives and, particularly a place where a person usually eats and sleeps in the ordinary course of their life and subject to the following:
Principal place of residence does not include:
For determining whether a place of residence is a person’s principal place of residence we may consider:
For clarity, a person can only have one principal place of residence at any given time. Place of residence means a place where a where a person usually or habitually lives and, particularly, a place where a person usually eats and sleeps in the ordinary course of their life.
Yes. You will need to complete a principal place of residence form and provide supporting documentation to be entitled to the principal place of residence categorisation.
Yes, you should contact council if they are relocating and the property is no longer going to be their principal place of residence.
If no advice is received from the customer, the principal place of residence this is generally amended when the postal address is updated.
Changing your postal address
The preferred method for requesting a change of address is in writing to council or completing a change of address form, however for individuals this may also be done over the phone.
If the change of address is a result of a separation, council recommends that both parties confirm their postal addresses and a request be put in writing for a copy of the rate notice to be issued to both parties.
Companies must provide a written request from a director of the company on company letterhead.
Changing your name on rates and water notices
This cannot be done through council. You will need to contact Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and lodge the necessary forms and payment. They will then pass this information on to us and we will update accordingly.
Removing a partner from the rates notices
Council does not have the authority to do this, you will need to complete transfer documents and lodge them with the Titles Office and pay the appropriate fees.
We can send multiple copies of notices to individual parties, however, if rates are not paid, reminder letters and all other correspondence is issued only to the primary contact on the rate account (the first name listed on the account).
Please note: Even if separated, if both parties are listed on the notice then both are equally liable for the payment of rates and charges.