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Community Groups to Benefit from Rebates

By David Bell

Plans are being discussed to give community groups throughout Rockhampton greater access to rebates.

Mayor Margaret Strelow explained that if her program is adopted in the 2013-14 budget, these organisations will receive an additional $300 per year.

She continued: "Sporting clubs (without gaming machines), could have as much as $1,300 benefit per annum or $650/rate notice.

"Obviously lower bills won't attract that large a rebate, but it works on the basis of 50 per cent of charges up to a maximum."

Community groups are an integral part of any local area, so these changes are likely to be welcomed by owners of real estate in Rockhampton.

As Mayor Strelow explained, many organisations find themselves holding raffles and sausage sizzles just so they can pay council rates, which she described as a "tremendous waste of volunteer hours which could be better spent mentoring youth or improving skills".

Other changes may soon affect Rockhampton residents, as the latest budget – to be announced on June 12 – revealed plans to lower rates for owner occupied properties in the area.

Although ratepayers will not be paying less than they have done previously, there will be two different rises – one is a concessional rate for owner occupiers and the other is designed for anyone who does not meet the requirements for the reduced charge.

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