From the Newsroom

A new Stormwater Management charge will be introduced by Clarence Valley Council to help fund the maintenance of drainage across the valley. Image: CVC

Council ‘s new stormwater charge

A new charge has been introduced by Clarence Valley Council to most residential and business property owners to fund an Urban Stormwater Management Program.

The charge was added to the Local Government Act in 2005 to fund council drainage improvement activities and the majority of council areas from Mid Coast Council to the Queensland border already apply the charge, with Clarence Valley Council now introducing it.

Council will introduce a $25 Stormwater Management Charge for each residential rateable property, a $12.50 charge for residential strata lots, and a $25 charge for land categorised as business.

The Stormwater Management Program, which is expected to reap $420,000 from the new charges in 2023-24, will include general drainage maintenance, clearing blocked pipes, CCTV pipe investigations, open/swale drain maintenance, renewal/upgrade works, water quality initiatives such as additional urban street sweeping, and pump renewal.

Clarence Valley Council Director Works and Civil, Jamie Fleeting, said the community has an expectation that council should be doing more with the ongoing maintenance of drainage across the valley.

“The consistent messaging from the broader community is Council should be investing more to alleviate nuisance-type flooding and impacts from blockages in stormwater systems and unmaintained open drains,” Mr Fleeting said.

“This has become particularly evident since the 2021 and 2022 floods and the stormwater issues that arose from those events.

“The Stormwater Management Charge, fixed at $25, is an important step towards addressing a backlog of significant stormwater issues across the Valley.

“It will allow Council to invest in a broad range of maintenance, upgrade, investigation and resourcing activities.”

Mr Fleeting said council had identified at least $10 million worth of work needed on council assets.

“All Council assets are assigned a condition rating between one and five,” he said.

“Of our stormwater assets, we have identified at least $10 million worth of complete renewal works that needs to be undertaken across the Valley on assets rated poor (4) or very poor (5).

“In the absence of State or Federal grant funding, we need to be better equipped to be able to fund these important initiatives.”