Council votes to provide relief to bushfire-impacted property owners

Gidgegannup aerial

City of Swan Council have voted to apply rates concessions to bushfire-affected residents and waive building and planning application fees, representing an estimated $476,000 saving for ratepayers and those rebuilding in the fire affected area.

For ratepayers, the decisions made at the April 14 Council Meeting means:

  • For properties that are damaged but the house is habitable, the City will apply a one-off pro-rata credit for the 2020/21 Council rates for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2021.
  • For properties that are destroyed and the houses are not habitable, the City will apply a one-off credit for the full 2020/21 Council rates.
  • Total credits are estimated at $191,000, and does not apply to the Emergency Services Levy, as this charge is not under the City’s control.
  • The total amount is subject to change dependant on number of applications.

The City will also waive fees for planning applications, building permits and certificates, onsite effluent disposal and for temporary accommodation under the Caravan Park and Camping Act for a period of three years, representing approximately $285,000 in concessions.

Anyone who was affected by the bushfire, and who has already paid a planning or building fee, will be refunded accordingly.

City of Swan Mayor Kevin Bailey said the priority was supporting the local community on the recovery journey, and these measures are designed to help remove financial pressure and accelerate the rebuilding of homes and other structures.

“This recovery process has been extremely challenging and the scale of loss is hard to comprehend, and many people in our community have been deeply impacted,” he said.

“It is our priority to provide relief to impacted property owners at this difficult time.

“We were already expediting applications for the Mindaroo temporary accommodation pods, and waiving application fees up to the delegated amount of $500, and we can now waive planning application fees for higher value structures, like houses, which typically attract a larger fee.”

The number of properties eligible for the concessions will be clearer over coming months as applications are received and details are verified.

A range of financial support is currently available to affected residents including Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements WA (DRFAWA), Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund, Services Australia Disaster Recovery One-Off Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance, and Bushfire Relief Payments funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet/administered by the City.

Affected residents can apply for Bushfire Relief Payments and Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Funding on our website, by calling us for information on 9267 9267, or by visiting our Bushfire Recovery Centre, Administration Building or any of our Libraries.

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