We all benefit from natural resources in our region
Whether it is fishing, farming, enjoying our beaches, living on the land or in our regional centres, working in the forest industry, cooking with local produce or simply enjoying the beautiful landscape, the condition of our natural resources underpins our lifestyle..
Our natural resources benefit everyone, which is why we contribute to a natural resources management (NRM) levy.
What are NRM levies?
Levies are one way the South East NRM Board funds management across the region’s landscapes. There are two levies: land and water, which contribute about 75% of the Boards annual funding. All ratepayers will see an amount on their council rates notice that contributes directly to managing natural resources. This is the NRM land levy and local councils collect this on behalf of the Board.
Those who have a water allocation for irrigation or industrial use will also pay a water levy, through a separate notice. If you do not have a water licence, you do not pay this levy.
The Board makes decisions to invest levy funding based on priorities outlined in its Business Plan. The levies are pooled and used to fund an annual work program and projects. Decisions on what is a priority within the region are made through consultation with the community in line with the long term outcomes within the Regional NRM Plan, which is developed each 10 years by the Board in collaboration with our partners and the community.
Basis of the levies
The NRM land levy is a fixed charge that depends on the purpose for which land is used. The categories of purpose of use are primary production, commercial, industrial and residential, vacant land and other. The proportion of the land levy income to be raised by each land use category is based on the total capital value of properties in that category for the region. Download the 2019-20 land levy rates fact sheet.
The NRM water levy is a fixed charge plus a rate per ML, or kL of allocation. This method means that all license holders will contribute to the cost of administering their license. 1ML (megalitre) = 1,000 kL (kilolitres) = 1,000,000 L. Download the 2019-20 water levy rates fact sheet.
For more information see the Understanding your NRM Levy - Land and Understanding your NRM Levy - Water fact sheets.
What do we get from the NRM levy?
NRM levy funds are invested in a work program that is implemented for the SE NRM Board by Natural Resources South East. Some of the key initiatives in the work program are assisting landholders to meet their responsibilities to control pest plants and animals, planning with the community to ensure that natural resources are sustained for use and enjoyment in the future, providing NRM education in schools, and working with landholders to improve their management of land.
The NRM levies also help the Board to attract $2.2 million in federal funding to deliver programs that achieve sustainable agriculture and environmental outcomes. These programs include working to conserve and restore remnant habitats, and assisting landholders to protect native vegetation and better manage pests and soils.
Social impact assessment of the levy
In 2015 a social impact assessment for the 2016/17 levy changes was undertaken across the region. View the summary documents below: