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First release of new utility notices issued to ratepayers

Ratepayers in the Southern Downs region will soon receive, or may already have received, the first of the two new-look utility notices for the 2017/2018 financial year.

Those who have registered for notices by email or BPAY View will have received their utility notices late last week and paper notices will be reaching ratepayers’ mailboxes shortly with an issue date of October 11.

The due date for payment of the utility charges is 5pm, Friday, 10 November 2017.

Southern Downs Regional Council made the decision in June to split the General Rates and the Utility Charges and issue them in three separate notices in an effort to alleviate the financial load on ratepayers in the region.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said that this decision spreads the financial load for residents across the year.

“Council is aware that residents face financial constraints. This decision recognises that and aims to reduce the financial burden as much as possible,” she said.

“Council has moved the Water and Wastewater Access charges off the annual Rate Notice and these have now been combined with the Water Consumption Charges to make the new utility notice.

“The utility notice will be issued six monthly, in October and April each financial year and each utility notice will account for half of the annual Water and Wastewater Access Charge,” noted the Mayor.

If a ratepayer is having difficulties paying their notices by the due date, they are urged to contact Council to organise a confidential payment agreement. An approved payment agreement can:

  • Allow the full balance of rates and charges (including Water and Wastewater Access charges) to be paid by 30 June 2018 by spreading the payments throughout the year in the form of regular instalments of weekly, fortnightly or monthly;
  • If there are no rate arrears from a previous financial year (an opening arrears balance on the annual Rate Notice), halt any interest charges being incurred;
  • Avoid recovery action and associated costs.

For further information about the changes to your utility notice, or to discuss the details of a confidential payment agreement, contact Council on 1300 MYSDRC (1300 697 372).

If you have a query about the water meter readings on your utility notice, the first step you should take is read your water meter. Information about how to read your meter is included with the utility notice, and can be accessed here.

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