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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Local Government Amendment (Rates) Act 2017

The Local Government Amendment (Rates) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 23 June 2017.

The Act amended the Local Government Act 1993 to:

  • expand the definition of municipal areas within section 16 of the Act to allow rating of land or structures that are adjoining municipal areas but are outside the municipal area as described with the relevant Central Plan Register;
  • clarify the application of section 87(1)(b) of the Act as it applies to Crown land leases and licences;
  • expand the exemption to non-service rates under section 87(1) of the Act to include marine farms as granted under Part 4 of the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995 and unallocated seabed Crown land;
  • amend section 120 of the Local Government Act to clarify liability to pay rates; and
  • validate the previous rating resolutions of local government.

Clarification of section 87

Previously there was inconsistency in the application of section 87(1)(b) of the Local Government Act in relation to reserve Crown land that was used by private or commercial lease or licence holders.

For example, currently a business that was located on non-reserve Crown land was subject to rates, whilst a business located nearby on reserve Crown land might not be subject to rates. While both businesses had access to the services provided by the relevant council, only one paid rates to support the provision of those services.

The amendments clarified the application of the exemption and provided local government with the capacity to apply rates equitably to property that meets the ‘relevant right to occupation’ criteria.

The amendments do not apply to all licences over reserve Crown land, rather to apply to agreements that confer the lease or licence holder the right to “exclusive occupation” of the land.

Further information

For further information on the Local Government Amendment (Rates) Act 2017 please contact the Local Government Division either by telephone on (03) 6232 7022 or by email to