It is known that the southern part of Australia is currently suffering from the high electricity charges thus many of the residents are opting for alternative sources such as solar panels in Gold Coast. In recent news, the regional councils have decided that they can charge the wind turbines in each region thus collecting rates. This is included in a bold proposal to make up for the increasing power costs that is burdening the ratepayers.
An agreement has already been submitted by the Wattle Range Council and they plan to persuade the State Government together with the Opposition to follow the rates system to be imposed on wind farms. This system is the same one that is being utilized in Victoria for the last 16 years.
The proposal has caught the support of the Local Government Association. Under it, the wind farms owners will have to pay a base amount of $53,000 and a capacity payment worth $1200 for every megawatt.
The council estimates that they will be able to gather around $773,000 from the rates revenue of the four wind farms annually. This means that the ratepayers will be able to enjoy a per cent in savings.
According to Peter Gandolfi, the mayor of Wattle Range, they are aware that southern Australia is considered to have the highest cost in electricity all over the globe. They think that it is only fair that the payment for the rates should be shouldered by companies generating the energy. It is one form of subsidy that the ratepayers will be able to enjoy.
Rates for majority of the land owners were based on the capital value of the land which covers the value of all the buildings within the land.
The problem is that according to legislation, the electricity generating plant is not to be included in calculating the capital value of the land thus it is not a part of it in paying rates.
Mr. Gandolfi said that wind turbines does not fall under the plant category as indicated by the Valuer General thus the land has been given a value of $50,000. With the rise in demand for alternative energy such as solar panels in Gold Coast, they deemed the charges fair.