Council has agreed to waive charges under its Use of Public Land policy in respect of activities by not-for-profit organisations.
The move was preceded by an address to council from Chair of the Bega Valley Business Forum Nigel Ayling who said he was speaking for changes to the policy on behalf of all the local business chambers.
A number of the chambers had been charged Use of Public Land fees of more than $700 to use council property for markets and other community events but the events were run by volunteers and for the benefit of the community and the organisations did not stand to make any profit from these events,” Mr Ayling told the council.
Under the current policy the CEO, Anthony McMahon had the ability to waive these fees but had declined to, citing budgetary restraints but Mr Ayling said that waiving a fee didn’t require any funds in the budget.
He then went on to speak for the proposed changes to the policy which would see not-for-profit organisations exempt from paying the Use of Public Land in the future. Council resolved to approve the changes to the policy.
“We do feel that the exemptions should have been granted to not-for-profits under the existing policy, but in the end we are pleased to see the changes to the policy,” Mr Ayling said. The policy will not be implemented retrospectively so the fees charged to the chambers in the past would not be returned.