Landscape Levy changes for council ratepayers

News article |

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board works with community, industry, First Nations and government agencies to ensure a sustainable approach to the management, protection and restoration of soil, water, native plants and animals across its region, which covers almost half of SA.

To fund this work, the board collects a Landscape Levy from all ratepayers, as well as out of council areas. Formerly known as an NRM levy, in council areas this is collected by local councils as part of rates collection and by the board for all properties that are located outside of a council area.

The levy paid by ratepayers in council areas is changing from 1 July 2023.

When the SAAL Landscape Board was an NRM Board prior to 2019 (operating under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004), Coober Pedy District Council and Roxby Downs Municipal Council were the only councils in the SA Arid Lands region.

In 2019, under the new Landscape South Australia Act 2019 which replaced the NRM Act, the Flinders Ranges and Port Augusta councils were brought in the SAAL region, which were previously serviced as part of Northern and Yorke.

A different levy rate was being applied to Port Augusta than to the Flinders Ranges and both were different to that of Coober Pedy and Roxby Downs.

This year, the SAAL Landscape Board introduced a way to ensure everyone across the region will pay the same amount, based on land use. This is known as a Landscape Levy equalisation process and was legislated in the new Landscape Act

From 1 July 2023, the regional landscape levy will be applied as a fixed charge that depends on the land use. Land uses are:

  • primary production
  • commercial/industrial
  • residential, vacant or other

Primary production properties, who receive the greatest benefits from natural resources management and the board’s programs, will pay more than other land use types.

A base rate of $45.35 will be paid on residential land, vacant land and other, with commercial and industrial properties paying $90.69 and primary production paying $226.73. This aligns with a beneficiary pays principle and reflects the way in which our community uses and benefits from the sustainable use of natural resources.

Feedback on the proposal was sought through public consultation during November 2022.

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