Do you know that around one third of the 48 regional and rural councils in Victoria offer some form of rate rebate or concession to covenantors? Councils take differing approaches to this issue so it is worthwhile knowing the approach of your local council.
These rebates can make a difference to landowners’ ability to take care of their land as they recognise the cost it takes to steward land.
The City of Greater Bendigo and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council offer a full rate rebate to ‘acknowledge and reward conservation efforts of private landholders’. The Pyrenees Shire Council offers a 50 per cent rebate, while others such as the Cardinia Shire Council, Mansfield Shire Council and the Greater Shepparton City Council offer a per hectare rebate (between $20-$50 up to a specified capped amount). The City of Greater Geelong calculates covenanted land at the lowest ‘farm rate’ (37% deduction).
Native habitat on private land in Victoria continues to be lost but the extinction trend can be reversed by protecting key remnants, building ecosystem resilience and increasing connectivity of habitat. The protection offered by conservation covenants make a vital contribution to this process and rates concessions or exemptions are recognition of this contribution by generous landowners.
If you would like to know more about rates rebates or concessions in your shire, check your council website or contact our Policy Advisor Cecilia Riebl (Monday to Wednesday) on (03) 8631 5819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.