Which fees and charges rose the most for Yarra Ranges residents

Registration fees for menacing or dangerous dogs are one of the highest-raised fees by Yarra Ranges Council. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

With Yarra Ranges Council’s 2024-2025 Budget having been adopted, the latest set of rate rises are set to take effect.

Yarra Ranges residents are set to see the maximum 2.75 per cent base increase in their rates, though there are other specific fees that have risen much higher.

Acting Director of Corporate Services at Yarra Ranges Council Jarrod Reid said as part of this year’s budgeting process, Yarra Ranges Council undertook a benchmarking exercise to compare how our fees and charges compared to neighbouring councils.

“Following the benchmarking exercise, some fees increased to a mid-range level while some fees remained the same,” he said.

“These changes will ensure that we can continue to support the delivery of these all important services to our community.”

The following are some of the more substantial increases in fees and charges in this year’s Yarra Ranges Council budget:

The fee to request a copy of a Category 2 planning application, which consists of any multi-unit applications with three or more dwellings and any commercial/industrial or retail applications, has risen from $168.19 to $300 (78.37 per cent).

The maximum registration fees for certain types of pets have increased heavily;

‘Menacing’ (has caused a non-serious bite injury to a person or animal or has rushed at or chased a person), ‘Dangerous’ (declared menacing and owner issued with two infringement notices for failing to comply with requirements such as leashing or muzzling their dog in public) and restricted breed dogs have seen an increase in their maximum registration fee, going from $261 to $320 (22.61 per cent). Dangerous dogs that have undergone protective training or that are guard dogs for non-residential premises have also had the same rise.

Non-desexed pets have been given a slightly larger increase on their already higher fees, going from a $149 maximum fee to $165 (10.74 per cent) for dogs and from $129 to 150 for cats (16.28 per cent).

All other standard (non-concession) registration fees have gone up by 10 per cent for dogs and 11.11 per cent for cats though foster carers of animals will now have to pay an $8 fee and it will cost a $15 fee to access pet register information.

Impound fees for vehicles have gone up 15.11 per cent, rising from $695 to $800 while the same amount has been adopted for a new fee covering skip bins, bulk waste containers, shipping containers, clothing recycling bins and other large items.

Pony Club lease fees are the only fees for sporting clubs to have risen significantly, going from $739 to $835.00 (12.99 per cent) for small capacity clubs and from $985 to $1113.50 (13.05 per cent) for large capacity clubs. The large increase is due to GST not being applied to last year’s fees while it was to other recreational clubs, while this year it has been applied.

Establishment fees for not-for-profit food premises, either at fixed locations or temporary ‘streatraders’, rose to match for-profit groups of the same business model, up 109.49 per cent from $126.50 to $265 for fixed food premises and up from $63 to $265 (320.63 per cent) for temporary ones.

Registration and renewal fees for established food premises both for and not-for profit also went up between 2.77 per cent and 26.51 per cent depending on the class and type.

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 registered premises also saw a substantial increase in the establishment fee, up 32.91 per cent from $158 to $210.

Despite the recent impacts of flooding and drain management in the Yarra Ranges, the cost to mixed-use, industrial and commercial properties for the development of stormwater drainage on their premises has risen drastically, up to $900. This represents a 25.57 per cent increase (from $716.74) for mixed-use and industrial properties and an 11.18 per cent increase (from $809.50) for commercial sites.

Fees to apply for tourism signage, whether it be one sign on Council or arterial roads, have also risen 28.21 per cent from $117 to $150.

Fees for crossovers, minor works and utilities which include trenching up to 30 metres all saw a large increase that slightly differed depending on how many permits were required; $498 up to $595 (19.48 per cent) for a two-permit job, $725 up to $866 (19.45 per cent) for three and $950.50 up to $1135 (19.41 per cent) for a combined four permit project.