Eyre Peninsula NRM Board Draft Business Plan for 2016-19

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About

Plan progress update

On behalf of the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board, Board Members wish to express their genuine appreciation and thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the Draft Business Plan for 2016-19.

The Plan, which includes amendments from the review of all feedback, was endorsed by the Board on Tuesday 23 February 2016 has been sent to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation for his consideration.

Supporting information developed to underpin the Plan, such as the Social and Economic Impact Assessment and the Consultation Report have also been sent to the Minister.

We anticipate the

About

Plan progress update

On behalf of the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board, Board Members wish to express their genuine appreciation and thanks to everyone who provided feedback on the Draft Business Plan for 2016-19.

The Plan, which includes amendments from the review of all feedback, was endorsed by the Board on Tuesday 23 February 2016 has been sent to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation for his consideration.

Supporting information developed to underpin the Plan, such as the Social and Economic Impact Assessment and the Consultation Report have also been sent to the Minister.

We anticipate the final Business Plan, which will include the levy and the inclusion of the levy in council rate notices, to be finalised in the next few months.

More information will be provided on the NREP Website as it becomes available. Thanks for getting involved.

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Have your say on the Draft Business Plan 2016-19, which sets out the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board’s priorities for achieving natural resources management outcomes and a proposed change to the way in which the NRM Levy is based.

What is being decided?

The draft Business Plan (PDF, 1.9MB) has been developed, which sets out the programs and actions that will be funded by the Board to contribute to the implementation of the targets of the Strategic Plan. It describes the expenditure and expected revenue for the three-year period 2016/17 to 2018/19. The Board’s investment will be delivered through a range of projects and approaches including direct investment, contracts for works or services, and grants to community organisations.

In 2016/17, the Eyre Peninsula will need to raise an additional $520,000 revenue from levies to cover costs and continue to deliver programs. To achieve this, the Board is proposing to change the basis of the NRM (Land) Levy, moving from one fixed rate applied to all land use categories equally to a range of fixed rates depending on the purpose of the land use (e.g. residential, commercial, primary production etc). This change in the basis of the levy will be applied to all local government areas within the Eyre Peninsula, however, it excludes a small amount of properties that are outside of council areas, which will remain at the fixed charge per rateable property. For more information about the changes click here.

The Board's proposed change to the basis of the levy is one that the Board considers to be the most equitable option for the region, which has improved alignment of the way in which our community uses and benefits from the sustainable use of natural resources.

How can your input influence the decision?

The Board is seeking your feedback on both the Draft Business Plan and the proposed changes to the basis of the levy. Your input will assist the Board in determining whether the business plan meets the needs of the community and whether the proposed change to the levy is appropriate.

You can share your views by joining the online discussion, completing the survey or sending a written submission to:

Presiding Member
Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board
P O Box 22
PORT LINCOLN, SA 5606

How will your input be used?

This engagement closes on 12 February 2016 and all feedback will be considered by the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board in finalising the draft Business Plan at its next meeting on 23 February 2016. A Consultation Report will also be prepared to provide a summary of feedback received and the Board’s response. The Business Plan with any amendments and the Consultation Report will be forwarded to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation for consideration and adoption by June 2016.

Personalised feedback letters will be sent to those who submit a formal written response, which will detail the comments raised, the response to those comments and whether any changes were made to the Draft Business plan as a result of those comments. A media release will also be issued advising what amendments have been made, which will be available on the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula website.

Want to know more?

You can contact Susan Stovell via susan.stovell@sa.gov.au or 08 8688 3201.

You can also join the online conversation by using the hashtag #eyrepeninsulaplan or tagging @SADEWNR or @YourFutureSA

Download the draft Business Plan (PDF, 1.9MB)




Background


Changes due to additional costs

In 2015-16, the Board is facing a range of additional cost burdens, which it has managed to meet through savings; however this is unsustainable in the long-term and, as a result, the Board needs to generate an additional $520,000, above what had previously been budgeted for the 2016-17 period and onwards. These costs are a result of the following:

  • Increased costs associated with delivering natural resources management activities throughout the region, which will increase further as the Board moves to implementation on the new Regional NRM Plan and Water Allocation Plan.
  • The 2015/16 State Budget included a measure to recover part of the Government’s Water Planning and Management (WMP) costs via NRM Board water levies.

This decision reflects the Government’s commitment under the National Water Initiative which requires Government to allocate water planning and management costs and associated corporate costs on an 'impactor pays' basis. These costs include supporting the water management requirements of the Natural Resources Management Act 2004, including water licensing, compliance activities, and science to support the development and management of water resources, development, review and amendment of water allocation plans, and debt recovery.

The State Government has also, for many years, subsidised the cost of Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) Corporate Service delivery to the Board, but this is no longer viable due to savings measures. The new corporate service delivery model with DEWNR is aiming to achieve a standardised, efficient and equitable range of services, which include human resource management, workplace safety and wellbeing, reconciliation, finance and business support, fleet management and information technology.

Water Planning and Management

In the 2015-16 State budget, the South Australian Government announced that it will partially recover the costs of Water Planning and Management (WPM) activities through regional NRM levies. This move reflects the Government’s commitments under the National Water Initiative to recover WPM costs on an “impactor pays” basis. An impactor is defined as a beneficiary of the WPM activity or someone that causes the WPM activity to be undertaken.

WPM activities are activities undertaken by the DEWNR and include water licensing, compliance activities, science to support the development and management of water resources, support to the NRM Regions for the review and amendment of water allocation plans, and debt recovery. The eight regional NRM Boards are to collect WPM costs totaling $3.5M in 2015/16, $6.7M in 2016/17 and indexed in future years. In addition to this WPM cost recovery amount, there are also a range of increased costs for the Board for 2016/17 and beyond. These include changes to the way corporate support is provided and associated costs recovered by DEWNR from NRM Boards.

In 2015/16, the Board implemented a range of short-term saving strategies to cover these additional costs, minimising the immediate impacts on water users, NRM programs and the community, without raising the levies.

In 2016/17, the Eyre Peninsula will need to raise an additional $520,000 revenue from levies to cover these costs and continue to deliver programs. To achieve this, the Board is proposing to change the basis of the NRM (Land) Levy, moving from one fixed rate applied to all land use categories equally to a range of fixed rates depending on the purpose of the land use (e.g. residential, commercial, primary production etc). This change in the basis of the levy will be applied to all local government areas within the Eyre Peninsula, however, it excludes a small amount of properties that are outside of council areas, which will remain at the fixed charge per rateable property.

Changing how the Land Levy is collected

To raise the additional revenue required the Board has undertaken a social and economic impact analysis and, as a result of this, has decided to change the basis of how the Land Levy is collected in Eyre Peninsula. Rather than just having one fixed rate per rateable property, the levy will now be generated by using different fixed rates, depending on the purpose of the rateable land use (e.g. different rates for residential, commercial, rural etc.)

In the current levy model, 67% of the levy is generated from residential properties throughout the region, with only 11% coming from rural properties. The new model will see a reduction in the amount of levy collected from residential properties (down to 58%) and an increase (up to 28%) in levy funds coming from rural properties. This will provide for a more equitable split, which aligns better with the regional delivery of services.

At present, the Board only has two types of water levy, which are classified as ‘reticulated’ and ‘purposes other than reticulated.’ The Board has also reviewed this situation and has decided to introduce a new ‘mining and energy’ water levy. This decision will not increase the level of water allocated as the water is currently accounted for – it will simply move some of the existing water allocation from the ‘Purposes other than reticulated’ pool into this new levy, which will be charged at the higher rate in line with the ‘reticulated’ water levy.

For more information in relation to the proposed changes to the Land Levy please refer to our fact sheet (PDF, 132KB). For those that want a higher level of information in relation to the proposed Land and Water levy changes, the Board has also released the Social and Economic Impact Assessment for 2016/17 Levy Proposal report (PDF, 1.1MB), which provides insights into all of the scenarios that the Board has considered, as well as the underpinning data.