What is the natural resources management land levy?
The natural resources management (NRM) land levy plays an important role in funding activities that underpin natural resource management on Kangaroo Island. Taking care of our water and land is everyone’s responsibility, and the NRM levy allows everyone to make a contribution to this.
Funds raised through the NRM levy are used for a variety of regional NRM priorities including managing water and soil resources, priority pest plant and animals, and undertaking community education and awareness building.
The KI NRM Board recently reviewed the regional NRM Strategic Plan 2017-2027 and NRM Business Plan 2017-2020, culminating in a public consultation process, which ran from 29 September to 29 November 2016. A part of the conversation was the proposed increase to the NRM land levy, from $36 per annum to $79 per annum ($1.50 per week).
Broad support was received for the plans and the proposed increase in the levy and they were recently adopted by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Climate Change. The increase in the levy will raise $385,000 for 2017-18.
The Board discussed the levy issue on a number of occasions, considering different degrees of cost recovery and their likely implications. While not achieving full cost recovery, the increased amount will importantly allow Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (the Board together with the Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources) to continue with its current level of service delivery and will bring Kangaroo Island into line with neighbouring rural regions where primary production predominates as a land use, being slightly less than the $82 charged in Eyre Peninsula and slightly more than the $68 charged by SA Murray Darling Basin.
In deciding to increase the NRM levy, the Board considered the considerable economic benefits delivered to the region by the NRM activities undertaken, particularly for the predominant tourism and primary production sectors, the increased demand for pest plant and animal control in the region which is intensifying, rather than diminishing; and the increased surveillance work which is expected to develop greater biosecurity awareness to protect KI’s valuable industries.
The Island’s low rates base means the Board cannot fund the level of natural resource management activities required to support sound land, water, pest and biodiversity management through the levy alone. It is therefore important to note that in 2015–16 the
Board was able to leverage an additional $17.25 of investment into the region from other funding sources (including the Australian Government) for every $1 of levy income raised. The State Government will continue to support the region and will contribute $1.113 million in 2017-18.
The natural resources management land levy and Kangaroo Island
The natural resources management (NRM) land levy is paid annually by the owners of rateable land in the region and appears on council rate notices at the beginning of each financial year. As Kangaroo Island is not a prescribed water area, a water levy is not charged in the region.
The levy is used to part fund the management of the region’s water resources and to control pest plants and animals. Additional funds are raised by the KI NRM Board for other NRM work undertaken in the region, as explained in the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Business Plan 2017-2020.
For more information about the levy please view the Frequently Asked Question Sheet.