Bundaberg Regional Council has introduced a rates concession for Rural Fire Brigades in the 2019-20 Budget.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said 15 Rural Fire Brigades will receive concessions ranging up to $1798 at a total cost of $8901 based on current financial year rates.
“Rural Fire Brigades are run by dedicated volunteers who provide an important community service,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The brigades rely on fundraising and donations to cover many of their operating expenses.
“Rates relief will enable Rural Fire Brigades to focus their scarce resources on protecting the community.”
There are 31 rural fire brigades in the Bundaberg Regional Council area. Sixteen don’t pay rates because they either don’t have a physical property or they’re situated on state or council land.
The amount of rates previously paid by the other 15 brigades has varied depending on whether they have services such as water supply and waste collection.
Rural Fire Service Area Director for Bundaberg, Bruce Thompson, welcomed the rates concession, saying it’s much appreciated.
“Volunteers raise the money used to pay the rates and this news is great,” Mr Thompson said.
Calavos Rural Fire Brigade First Officer Ashley Sonntag said the rates relief was welcome because that money could now be used on vital firefighting resources.
“As a volunteer organisation every dollar counts,” Mr Sonntag said.
“That’s money we can use to maintain and upgrade our resources, along with purchase equipment to keep our volunteer crews safe on the fire ground.
“It’s great news to hear the Bundaberg Regional Council has taken this step and we are grateful.”
Rural Fire Brigades to receive rates concessions
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