Council Rate Rises in Australia 2003-2010


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Average Annual rate rise 5.67% between 2003-04 and 2009-10

There has been a lot of interest, and news reports about the rising cost of local council rates in Australia.

I looked at my rates, for the house I have lived in for the last 8 years, to see exactly how they have changed.

The council rate bill is divided into several sections, and I have analyised each of these separately.

The results:


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Year Council Rates Water Access Water use Waste/Recycling Total
2003-04 $905.16 $600.20 $140.93 $167.40 $1,813.69
2004-05 $938.76 $610.04 $190.37 $175.00 $1,914.17
2005-06 $943.16 $616.72 $150.00 $182.00 $1,891.88
2006-07 $991.92 $709.48 $110.75 $216.00 $2,028.15
2007-08 $1,044.04 $792.00 $193.69 $225.00 $2,254.73
2008-09 $1,116.40 $842.00 $272.14 $230.00 $2,460.54
2009-10 $1,205.84 $883.48 $403.98 $239.00 $2,732.30

The above figures show the average annual increases, between 2003-04 and 2009-10 of 7.06%.

However the individual rate bill sections show average annual rises, for the SIX years between 2003-04 and 2009-10, of:

    4.90% Council Rates
    6.66% Water Access
    19.18% Water use
    6.12% Waste/Recycling

From this, I can see that my actual Council rate has risen by less than 5% per year on average, but the really large percentage rise has been the cost of water consumption. This is only to be expected, as they raised the water cost to try to deter people from using too much water during the drought.

If this water consumption cost was removed from the rate bill figures, the average annual rise from 2003-04 to 2009-10 would have actually been 5.67% for all the other components. I feel this is a more realistic figure to use for council rates, as the water cost is now determined by the State Government, and does not reflect real cost changes. It is also something that fluctuates, within our control.

Checking our own water consumption, per year, showed me some interesting figures.

    Water Use kL Year
    316 2003-04
    384 2004-05
    255 2005-06
    140 2006-07
    253 2007-08
    224 2008-09
    249 2009-10

This shows an average annual decrease in our own water consumption of 3.9%, although we really did cut our use in 2006-07, at the height of the water shortages in our area. Unfortunately, we then increased again, although we did have a 33% increase in household population.

Note 1: If water consumption was removed from the rate bill figures, the average annual rise from 2003-04 to 2009-10 would have actually been 5.67% for all the other components.

Removing this variable figure, and just looking at the Fixed rate costs, the first chart now looks like this:

Year Council Rates Water Access Waste/Recycling Total Annual Rise
2003-04 $905.16 $600.20 $167.40 $1,672.76
2004-05 $938.76 $610.04 $175.00 $1,723.80 3.05%
2005-06 $943.16 $616.72 $182.00 $1,741.88 1.05%
2006-07 $991.92 $709.48 $216.00 $1,917.40 10.08%
2007-08 $1,044.04 $792.00 $225.00 $2,061.04 7.49%
2008-09 $1,116.40 $842.00 $230.00 $2,188.40 6.18%
2009-10 $1,205.84 $883.48 $239.00 $2,328.32 6.39%

A big rise in 2006-07, but not that bad if we remember the very small rise the year before. But we never remember the years with either small rises or no rises, we only ever remember the BIG rises.

That makes me now think about the rises in Electricity costs… see: Electricity – the REAL price changes in Queensland

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