TRC cracks down on infrastructure charges ahead of budget
THE Toowoomba Regional Council has cracked down on developers with outstanding infrastructure charges, placing them on rates notices in a bid to meet expected goals in the upcoming budget.
The move to collect harder on overdue charges is an outcome from a TRC working group made up of staff from the planning and finance departments, in response to continuing shortfalls in infrastructure charges.
Finance general manager Arun Pratap said the council was pursuing charges from developers more diligently.
"(The issue) was identified by external audit, and all councils have an obligation to ensure that infrastructure charges are levied in accordance with legal obligations," he said.
"That's why we established that working group nearly 12 months ago, with the view to ensure all those expectations have been met before the budget.
"We're well on track to do that, and it's that activity that has raised infrastructure charges.
"There's a fair bit of backlog in the process, so a number of infrastructure charges have been issued all at once."
Mr Pratap raised the issue following the revelation in July last year that the council was missing $10 million in overdue infrastructure charges, contributing to a 26 per cent drop in capital revenue.
This figure has tightened up in the final months of the current financial year, with the capital revenue shortfall in April at just six per cent.
Revenue during March was below budget by $13 million, or 28 per cent.
Mr Pratap said adding the fees to the general rates notice was part of the strategy.
"It's been an area of focus and that's what the market is seeing right now.
"We're on track to have that under control by June 30."