Financial implications - FAQs

How much will the service charge be for my property?

The standard service charge per property (excluding any applicable discounts or rebates) for each project area as determined by Council at its November 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting is:

  • Victoria Park West: $2,089
  • Victoria Park East: $3,849 
  • Carlisle North: $3,959 

 

Household may be eligible to receive the following discounts:

  1. Properties adjacent to high voltage lines - 50%
  2. Properties impacted by switchgear/transformer boxes - 50%
  3. Properties with pre-existing internal underground power - $750
  4. Properties with pre-existing internal underground power with a service pole - $375
  5. Vacant land - $750

Why is there a difference in cost between project areas?

The contract price is different for each project area because each project involves a different design based on engineering requirements and the number of properties captured within the area. Service charges will therefore vary between project areas due to economies of scale.

Since Victoria Park West has a higher density it has a lower service charge because the cost of the project is shared over a greater number of properties.

 

When will the service charge tax invoice be sent to me?

The service charge will appear on your 2020/2021 rate notice as a new levy, displayed as an individual line item. It is anticipated that these notices will issue end of July, beginning of August 2020, dependent upon the adoption of the Council budget for the 2020/2021 financial year.

If I can't pay the service charge in one go, can I pay it off over a period of time?

In previous projects Council has provided the option of paying the service charge over a period of up to seven years. If this option is chosen, your service charge will be divided into seven equal instalments payable annually.

 

If I pay the service charge over an extended period, what would the interest rate be?

5.5% interest will be applied on the service charge if the instalment option is chosen.

11% interest will be charged if payment is not received on the invoice due date.

 

Does the Town contribute anything financially towards the project?

The Round Six projects in the Town are 44% funded by the State Government. The Town is required to fund the other 56% and the majority of the Town’s portion is raised by a service charge on each property within the project area. Council, at its discretion has resolved to contribute partially towards the remaining 56% of the project cost that it is required to pay, thus effectively reducing the service charge to each property owner. Some properties may be eligible for a further discount.

What if I refuse to pay the service charge?

Once the underground power service charge is issued, it becomes a charge on the property in the same manner as Council rates are a charge on the property.  Outstanding charges on a property are recoverable by the Town in court in the regrettable event that there is absolute resolve by a property owner to not pay outstanding amounts in accordance with section 6.56 of the Local Government Act 1995.

What if I sell my property while there is still some of the service charge owing?

Any outstanding underground power service charges on a property must be paid in full at settlement when a property is sold.

What if I sell my property before the project commences, or after the project commences but I haven’t received the service charge tax invoice?

A local government may impose a service charge on owners or occupiers of land within the district or a defined part of the district for a financial year to meet the cost to the local government in the provision of a prescribed work, service or facility in relation to the land. The owner is liable to pay the service charge to the local government which may be apportioned in accordance with section 6.52 of the Local Government Act 1995.

This provision implies the charge applies from 1 July to 30 June.

What authority does the Town have to impose an underground power service charge on my property?

The Town has authority under Section 6.38 of the Local Government Act 1995 and Item 54 of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 to apply a service charge for the provision of underground power.

I already have underground power; do I still have to pay?

Some properties within the project areas have what is known as a pillar to pole connection (P2P).  This normally comprises a green dome or pillar just inside the property boundary, connected by underground cable to the nearest street pole.  There is also an underground cable from the dome to the meter box within the property.  Since 1999 it has been compulsory that any new building or significant redevelopment of a property has a P2P connection.  A P2P connection does not mean that a property has “underground power.”  The largest proportion (approximately 85%) of the costs involved in an underground power project is the installation of new underground cables in the street, installation of new streetlights, installation of new domes, connection of domes (new and existing) to the underground street cables, and demolition and removal of old wires and poles. 

Those properties with pre-existing P2P connections retain the pre-existing underground cable within the property from the dome to the meter box, but have the pre-existing dome to street pole underground cable replaced by a new underground cable to the new underground street main cable.  As there is an approximate saving to the project, the service charge applicable to all properties with a pre-existing P2P connection receives a discount of $750.  Those properties with a pre-existing underground from service pole connection receive a discount of $375 to the service charge.

Will I get a pensioner rebate?

Eligible pension and seniors card holders may receive a rebate in accordance with the provisions prescribed within the Rates and Charges (Rebates and Deferments) Act and must be the owner and occupier of the property as at 1 July for the financial year the service charge is raised.  Details of the dollar value of rebates are not yet available but will be provided on the 2020/2021 rate notice.

Qualified pensioners and Senior concession card holders may be eligible for a rebate subject to an assessment by the Office of State Revenue. Please go to the Water Corporation website or contact the Water Corporation on 13 13 85 to register or to determine whether you are eligible, any applications received after 1 July will not be entitled to a rebate.

 

What if I subdivide my property which is subject to a service charge?

The service charge will remain with the parent property until the balance is paid in full.