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Rural Rate Rebate Given the Green Light

Bass Coast Shire Council will introduce a rural land rate rebate scheme in the 2002/03 rating year

By Bass Coast Shire Council - 15th January 2002 - Back to News

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Bass Coast Shire Council will introduce a rural land rate rebate scheme in the 2002/03 rating year. The scheme provides financial incentives for rural landowners who undertake works that improve sustainable agricultural opportunities and protect and enrich the natural environment.

The scheme was initiated by local Landcare groups and devised by a working party that includes local farmers, Landcare groups, Victorian Farmers Federation, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and Council.

Anne Davie, Chairperson of the Working Party, said that the scheme aims to recognise and reward landholders who adopt land management principles that protect and enrich the natural environment.

Ms. Davie said the overall scheme and the land management principles adopted will assist in achieving sustainable agriculture now and for the future. She said the scheme also acknowledges the importance of the productivity and visual amenity of the rural land in Bass Coast Shire.

The scheme will see the farm rate set at the same level as the developed land rate. Currently the farm rate is 90% of the developed land rate. Through the scheme, rural landholders will be eligible for a 20% rebate if they undertake various land management works.

These works include: weed control and eradication; protection/enhancement of remnant vegetation; control and reversal of soil erosion; protection of waterways, revegetation; pest animal control; and control and reversal of soil salinity.

Landowners of rural land of 4 hectares or more are eligible for the scheme and must apply to Council if they wish to receive the rebate. Easy to complete forms will be sent to all eligible landowners in February 2002.

Ms Davie said that the Working Party has met with Bass Coast Shire Council officers for two years to develop the Rural Rate Rebate Scheme.

"Members of the working party commend the Council for their encouragement and commitment to the scheme," said Anne. "Bass Coast Shire is one of the frontrunners in good land management in the state, and many municipalities are watching the introduction of this latest initiative with great interest."


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