Ipswich rates levy earns $3.2M in one year
INCLUDED on an Ipswich rates notice is an $11 Enviroplan levy that has raised millions of dollars for the council but is unnoticed by many residents.
Last year the levy raised $3.2 million for the Ipswich City Council, an increase of about $200,000 on the previous year.
According to the council's budget, the Ipswich Enviroplan levy, established in 1996, can be used in the manner determined by the council "to provide the greatest benefit for the enhancement of the environment of the local government area”.
It is primarily used for buying and managing native bushland areas known as conservation estates.
The levy has also contributed to the cost of a new fish ladder at Berry's Weir and Voluntary Conservation Agreements with rural landowners.
The Conservation Estates also attract large numbers of visitors seeking outdoor experiences.
Environment committee chairwoman and Division 3 Councillor Kerry Silver said the levy had directly funded hundreds of large and small environmental projects.
"It's really been able to create a living, breathing connection in our conservation areas and preserving areas for the future,” she said.
Cr Silver said the funding allowed the council to investigate and invest in new technology to promote the region's outdoor spaces.
She said without the levy, the region would not have been able to preserve and enhance the connected corridors of bushland.
"We wouldn't have the biodiversity areas we're investing in,” she said.
The council's policy allows the levy to be used for the acquisition, management and protection of bushland areas, the construction of facilities for public access to bushland areas, promoting environmental education and minimising the impact of carbon emissions.