Fee relief for bushfire-impacted residents

Bega Valley Shire Councillors have agreed to provide fee-relief for residents impacted by the recent Coolagolite bushfire.

coologolite bushfire

17 November 2023

Bega Valley Shire Councillors have agreed to provide fee-relief for residents impacted by the recent Coolagolite bushfire.

The unanimous decision made during this week’s Council meeting will result in Council fees waived for eligible residents wishing to plan and rebuild property damaged or destroyed during the October fire.

Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said waiving fees would help bushfire-impacted residents to begin the road to recovery.

“This is the third time in five years that Councillors have formally resolved to waive fees for bushfire impacted residents,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“Waived fees include those required to lodge a Development Application or complying Development Certificates, or other certificates and inspections needed for property owners to rebuild lost or damaged buildings.

“Development Advisory Panel fees will also be waived for the rebuild of bushfire-affected buildings.”

Cr Fitzpatrick said fee relief for eligible residents will extend beyond planning and development.

“We are aware that many rural customers paid additional water cartage costs when preparing their properties for an approaching fire front,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“For these customers not connected to a town water network, we will offer a one-off reimbursement of up to 13,000 litres of water upon proof of purchase from a registered water carter.

“The Coolagolite bushfire left many property owners with damaged and potentially dangerous trees on their property. If you are in doubt about vegetation on your property, please give us a call and we will assess bushfire-damaged trees on your property for free.

“If you are overwhelmed by the path of recovery that lies ahead, even small things can seem too much, so we are also waiving charges for library resources damaged or destroyed in the fires. Photocopying of replacement documents is also without charge for affected residents.

“Having walked this path with residents from the Tathra and Yankees Gap fires, and the Black Summer bushfires, we have perhaps learned more than anything else that recovery is different for everyone.

"We hope this Council resolution offers some relief and more so, we urge everyone to reach out to anyone who may be affected in any way. Simply listening and helping people through tough times fosters the supportive networks that provide the foundation for a resilient community."

If you are a resident impacted by the Coolagolite bushfire and would like to enquire about fee-relief, please contact Council on (02) 6499 2222.

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