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Local Government (Fixed Charges) Amendment Bill

On the 17th of October 2018, John introduced the Local Government (Fixed Charges) Amendment Bill into Parliament.

Please see his second reading speech below.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (17:28): This bill is identical to the one I introduced last year, which passed this house but did not proceed any further due to prorogation. The purpose of the bill is to prevent councils from charging a minimum rate per individual living unit in a retirement village. Currently, the act provides that a fixed charge cannot be charged against individual sites in caravan parks, residential parks and marinas. This bill will see retirement villages added to this list.

Like the properties that are already included in the Local Government Act, individual living units are small portions of a whole; namely, the retirement village. Retirement villages are often on one title with residents being given a licence to occupy by way of a contract. Councils provide no services within retirement villages.

Street lighting, rubbish removal, roadworks and verge maintenance is all the responsibility of the residents or the village owners, depending on the contract. Councils will still be able to attribute rates to a retirement village as a whole. It will then be up to village management to determine how this cost is to be paid. The Valuer-General provides advice on tenancy apportionment to village owners on request.

Retirement villages house some of our community's most vulnerable people. These people have worked their entire lives and do not deserve to be unfairly treated. I commend the bill to the chamber.