Shire of Mundaring has endorsed financial measures to support residents impacted by the Wooroloo bushfire.
Developed to alleviate financial pressures associated with the clean-up and rebuilding process, a 100 per cent concession for all rates penalty interest from 1 February 2021 to 30 June 2021 will be applied to eligible accounts.
Fees will also be waived on a number of planning, building and other charges and transfer station visits.
Shire President John Daw said ratepayers whose properties were destroyed or significantly damaged during the Wooroloo fire would be eligible for relief.
"These concessions complement the Shire's commitment to assisting ratepayers through the recovery process," he said.
"A similar measure was adopted after the Parkerville, Stoneville, Mount Helena bushfire in 2014 and significantly expedited the process of rebuilding homes."
The following concessions and waivers were endorsed during the March Council meeting:
- Waive Shire fees relating to planning approvals, building permits, demolition permits and septic tank licenses for properties destroyed or damaged by the Wooroloo Bushfire. The Shire cannot approve any credit for the Emergency Service Levy (ESL) as this charge is not under the Shire's control;
- Waive Shire waste transfer fees and the cost of providing skip bins associated with the demolition and debris removal works arising from the Wooroloo Bushfire until 30 June 2021;
- Waive the fee for application for a private water service for properties destroyed or damaged by the Wooroloo Bushfire;
- Waive photocopying fees to residents in the Shire of Mundaring who have been affected by the Wooroloo Bushfire; and
- Grant a 100% concession for al rates penalty interest that will accrue on outstanding rates payable on properties destroyed or damaged by the Wooroloo Bushfire. (Effective from 1 February 2021 to 30 June 2021).
Seven residences were destroyed by the bushfire in the Shire of Mundaring. Those ratepayers will also be entitled to a rates reprieve from 1 February to 30 June.
Cr Daw said this reprieve could provide eligible ratepayers five months' of their 2020/21 rates balance credited back to their account, or the credit would offset any outstanding rates.
"If affected ratepayers have already paid their rates in full, they can ask to have the credit amount refunded, or leave the credit against their account to offset the rates payable next financial year," he said.
Definitions for destroyed and damaged properties will align with the criteria for the Lord Mayor's Distress Fund.
The State government has confirmed that it will also waive the Building Services Levy, which is 0.137 per cent of the construction value declared on application.
"The Shire is seeking a similar relaxation of the CTF Levy from the State government, which is 0.20 per cent of the construction value declared on application," Cr Daw added.
Shire staff will contact impacted residents to discuss how the rates concession will impact them and provide further information.