Over the last few weeks we have been made aware by members that their Scheme Operators have received notices of reviews by their Council of the Emergency Management Levy applicable to their village. Exceptionally high increases in the levy payable by the village and therefore by extension the residents via their monthly fees have resulted. In the first instance to come to our notice the fee jumped from $476.20 to $7,050.20 per annum.
The problem emanates from Council having applied an incorrect levy category.
The ARQRV committee are not experts in this field but have taken the advice of a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland (R.P.E.Q.) who has written a paper for us to explain how the Fire Levy for a particular development is calculated. This will shortly be available on our website under the heading of:
“Urban Fire Levies explained”
We would not suggest that any lay person attempts to calculate how the levy for their village should be calculated. It is complicated because, for example, Council may consider that commercial activities, such as a hairdressing salon within a village where a hairdresser visits and works for payment could be a commercial enterprise and result in a higher category rating for more of the village than would be appropriate as the greater part of the village is residential and should attract a much lower rate. Also if the hairdresser works two mornings per week the rate for that part of the village would be reduced pro rata accordingly. The document to which this is attached may be forwarded or given to a member’s scheme operator.
If a member becomes aware that their village has received such a notice we would encourage them to speak to their scheme operator, through their residents’ committee if they have one, an ask that a proper review be conducted by an appropriately qualified professional and, if appropriate, an appeal lodged with The Commissioner, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, GPO Box 1425, Brisbane, QLD, 4001.
For more details, download this document.