Hurstville City Council
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Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions that Hurstville City Council is frequently asked by the community. Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions are provided below:

Rates  | Waste Recycling

Rates

Why do you have to pay council rates?

Councils help local communities run smoothly. They administer various laws and regulations to help maintain and improve services and facilities for the community. These services include community services, sporting and recreation services, environmen Continue to read...

How does a council decide how much you have to pay in rates and charges?

Each council is required to determine the combination of rates, charges, fees and pricing policies needed to fund the services it provides to the community. This is called a revenue policy. The revenue policy contains a rating structure that determin Continue to read...

How does council decide which category your property is in?

Each parcel of land must be included in one of four categories for rating purposes - residential, business, farmland or mining. Council decides which category your property should be in based on its characteristics and use. Most people are charged or Continue to read...

What can you do if you don't agree with the categorisation of your property?

Categories are important, because rates differ depending on the category of the land. So if your land is, for example, categorised as residential you may pay a lower rate per dollar of land value than if your land is categorised as business. Continue to read...

Can council change the category of your land?

Yes. However, they must notify you of this change and advise that you can seek a review by the council if you don't agree with the category. This notice must also explain your appeal rights to the Land and Environment Court.  Continue to read...

What if you don't agree with the land value of your property?

Councils don't determine your land value for rating purposes. Land is valued by the Valuer General at the Department of Lands under the Valuation of Land Act 1916 (as amended). These valuations are carried out approximately every four years and you s Continue to read...

Is there any way of knowing what your rates and charges will be before receiving your rate notice?

Every year, before the final amounts are fixed, councils must prepare a draft management plan that includes their proposed revenue policy for the following year. This policy must include details of all rates and charges that the council is proposing  Continue to read...

Can you object to what council is proposing?

The draft management plan must be put on exhibition to give members of the public an opportunity to comment. This usually happens around April or May each year. Councils must consider any submissions by the public before adopting the plan. This is yo Continue to read...

What is rate pegging?

The government sets a limit on the total amount of income that a council can raise from certain rates and charges. This is called the rate-peg percentage and it is specified by the Minister for Local Government each year. Continue to read...

Can your rates increase by more than the rate-peg percentage?

Yes. Rate-pegging applies to a council's overall general income and not to rates on individual properties. Within rate-pegging it is possible for some rates to increase by more than the rate-peg limit while others may increase by less than the rate-p Continue to read...

Are all rates and charges limited by rate-pegging?

No. Only certain rates and charges are subject to rate-pegging. Rates and charges for waste management, water, sewerage and stormwater are not subject to rate-pegging.  Continue to read...

Is there any way that councils can increase their income by more than the rate-peg limit?

Councils can apply to the Minister for Local Government to increase their general income by more than the rate-peg limit. This is called a special variation application. The council must include details of its intention to apply for a special variati Continue to read...

Is there any way to control the increases on rates and charges that are not subject to rate-pegging?

Even though certain rates and charges are not subject to rate-pegging, councils are still required to provide details of what they are proposing to charge in their draft management plan and must consider submissions from the public before adopting th Continue to read...

Do you have to pay a domestic waste management service charge if you don't use the service?

Yes. The Local Government Act requires councils to levy an annual charge for providing domestic waste management services on all parcels of rateable land for which the service is available, whether or not it is actually used. It is considered that al Continue to read...

If you don't use the service, do you have to pay the same amount as those who do use it?

Councils can charge properties that do not use the service a different amount from those that do use it. However it is up to each council to decide whether they want to do this.  Continue to read...

Why have water and sewerage charges changed?

The Department of Water and Energy has issued best practice pricing guidelines to encourage the effective and efficient delivery of water supply and sewerage services, and to promote sustainable water conservation practices and water demand managemen Continue to read...

As a pensioner, are you eligible for a concession/rebate on your rates?

Concessions are available for eligible pensioners. To be an eligible pensioner you must receive a pension from either Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and be entitled to a pensioner concession card issued by the Commonwealth Governm Continue to read...

How do you apply for a pensioner concession?

You need to complete a pensioner concession application form. You can obtain these forms from your council.  Continue to read...

If you are eligible, what concessions are you entitled to?

Half of the total of your ordinary rates and domestic waste management service charge, up to a maximum of $250. Continue to read...

Does the amount of the concession increase with inflation or in line with rate increases?

No. The amounts are fixed.  Continue to read...

Is there any plan to increase the concession amounts?

The NSW Government determines the amount of the concessions and, although the level has remained constant for a number of years, the last increase to the concession for ordinary rates from $175 to $250 was significant.  Continue to read...

Can councils offer additional concessions for pensioners?

Yes, although the cost of providing additional concessions must be met entirely by the council. It is up to each council to decide whether to grant additional concessions.  Continue to read...

Can you be exempt from paying council rates?

There are some parcels of land that are exempt from rates and charges. These include parcels of land within a national park and land that belongs to, for example, a religious body or school. Unless you meet the exemption criteria outlined in the Loca Continue to read...

What are my rates used for?

The rates that residents pay are used to fund vital infrastructure and a wide range of services for the community. Some of the services rates pay for include: Continue to read...

Why do I have to pay domestic waste charge?

Under the Local Government Act 1993, residential waste removal cannot be financed from ordinary rates. As a result, residents incur a separate charge for this service. The Domestic Waste Charge incurred by all residential ratepayers entitles each ho Continue to read...

What is Infrastructure Plus?

Hurstville City Council aims to provide high quality roads, parks and community facilities in the suburbs in a financially sustainable manner through its Infrastructure Plus program of capital works. Continue to read...

When are my rates due and payable?

The 2014/2015 Rating period commences on the 1 July 2014. Continue to read...

How are rates calculated?

Your rates are calculated based on: Continue to read...

Are there penalties for late payment of rates?

Yes. Any amount due and unpaid by a payment date will attract a daily interest charge on the overdue amount. There is no interest free period for payment of an overdue amount. Continue to read...

What should I do if I am having difficulty paying my rates?

If you are having difficulty paying your rates, you should contact Council’s Rates Department on 02 9330 6222 as soon as possible.  Continue to read...

Recycling

Why is recycling important?

There are many reasons why recycling makes sense for the environment, the economy and society. It reduces the depletion of natural resources, saves on energy use and is less expensive than using new materials. Continue to read...

Why can I place only certain things in my recycling bin?

When thinking about what can and can't be recycled at home, it is best to know what happens to your recycling after it is collected from your kerbside.  Continue to read...

Can pizza boxes be recycled?

Yes, in general empty and clean pizza boxes should be recycled. However sometimes they are heavily contaminated with grease and food. The grease and food waste doesn't dissolve in the paper recycling process and creates a contaminant in the recycled  Continue to read...

Can I place Plastic Bags in my recycling bin?

Used empty plastic bags can only be recycled through special plastic bag collection facilities in supermarkets, and can not be collected as part of household kerbside recycling collections as they get caught on the conveyor belts causing damage to ma Continue to read...

Which plastics can I recycle?

Only plastic bottles, rigid containers and tubs can be collected in your recycling bin. This is because although many different types of plastic are recyclable in theory, the Australian plastics recycling market is limited by our small population. Continue to read...

What about plastic trays?

Foam trays should not go in the recycling bin. Meat trays (plastic or foam) should not be, because they are usually contaminated with blood products and also because many of them are foam trays or have a non-recyclable liner with them. Plastic fruit  Continue to read...

Can I recycle plastic pot plants?

No, as plastic pot plants often contain residual plant matter and as the mixed plastic is sent overseas for recycling the organic material makes it illegal to transport the plastic. Additionally the sorting lines are designed for smaller containers,  Continue to read...

What do I do with the lids on bottles and jars?

Lids should never be left on bottles and jars in the recycling bin.  Continue to read...

Do I have to take the labels off?

No, most labels do not need to be removed. When the recyclables are cleaned they are generally immersed in water for an extended period of time, this process removes any labels which float to the top and are removed. However some plastic bottles have Continue to read...

What about staples and window faced envelopes?

When paper and cardboard is recycled it is immersed in water and turned into a type of paper mulch or pulp. During this process any non-paper items that are heavy or very light are separated and removed. This means that small quantities of staples an Continue to read...

Can I recycle phone books?

Yes, phone books can be placed in your yellow lid recycling bin. Continue to read...

Can I recycle waxed boxes and cups?

Like coated paper products, waxed boxes can not be recycled because they are too heavy and cause contamination of the recycled cardboard. How can I tell if its waxed? Scratch the surface with your nail – if a waxy residue comes off it can not be recy Continue to read...

Why can't paper towel be recycled?

Paper towels are becoming higher quality and are made out of 'wet-strength paper' they are designed not to break down in water so that they fulfil their purpose of absorbing liquid. This means that they don't easily breakdown in the paper recycling p Continue to read...

What types of cans can I recycle?

Canned food containers are generally made from steel and are 100% recyclable, providing they are empty and rinsed clean of leftover food. Aerosol cans can be recycled if they are empty and the lid is removed. Continue to read...

Can I recycle paint tins?

Paint tins are generally not recyclable because they contain leftover paint that is hazardous to workers and contaminates machinery and other recyclables. However when paint tins are finished only the completely empty dry tin can be recycled with the Continue to read...

What other types of metals can I recycle?

Metals other than steel or aluminium containers can usually not be recycled in household recycling. Metal cooking pots, coat hangers, motor parts and other scrap metals can be dangerous, too large or contaminated by plastic fittings or other material Continue to read...

What types of glass can I recycle?

Glass bottles and jars of any colour can be recycled in household recycling. Ceramics, vases, mirrors, heat-proof cooking glass, drinking glass and china can not be recycled because they heat at a different temperature to regular glass bottles and ja Continue to read...

How do I recycle clothing, shoes, toys and textiles?

These should never be placed in your household recycling bin because they cause contamination in the recycling process and clothing or shoelaces can jam and damage machinery. The sorting process is not designed to recover these types of materials and Continue to read...

Can shredded paper be placed in the recycling bin?

Shredded paper becomes like confetti in the Materials Recycling Facility The air separator and trammel are not designed to process paper particles smaller than a regular flyer. Smaller particles should be composted or placed in the rubbish bin. Continue to read...

Where should I take small electronic items like radios, hairdryers and other appliances?

If they are in good working condition they may be accepted by a charity store. Alternatively they can be placed out with clean up. Due to the potentially hazardous nature of electrical goods once they reach landfill, it is preferable that these items Continue to read...

Waste

How do I obtain additional residential bins for my recyclable, non-recyclable and green waste?

If you require an additional bin you should submit a bin request form to council via email at hccmail@hurstville.nsw.gov.au or send to: PO Box 205, Hurstville, BC NSW 1481 Continue to read...

Where is the closest rubbish tip to Hurstville City?

The closest waste management centre to Hurstville City is Rockdale Transfer Station in Lindsay Street, Rockdale. Another centre residents can use is the Lucas Heights Waste Management Centre on New Illawarra Rd, Lucas Heights. Continue to read...

What do I do if my bin is stolen or damaged?

Please phone Hurstville Council's Waste Hotline on 1800 079 390 to report your missing or damaged bin and organise for delivery of a replacement.  Continue to read...

Are people allowed to dump rubbish, in a public park or reserve?

It is illegal to dump residential or industrial waste of any kind in a community reserve or park. Continue to read...

What can I do about blocked public drain?

Report a blocked drain by contacting Council's Customer Service Centre via email at hccmail@hurstville.nsw.gov.au or phoning 9330 6222.  Continue to read...

Can someone from Council come and clean up the litter in my street?

A Council street sweeper is available to clean up litter in your street. To report a littered street, contact Council's Customer Service Centre via email at hccmail@hurstville.nsw.gov.au or phone 9330 6222.  Continue to read...

How can I get rid of household chemicals and paints lying around my home?

The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change operates free chemical drop-off centres at various locations throughout the year. For more information, visit Council's page on Chemical Clean Out or http://www.cleanout.com.au/ or phone 131 555.  Continue to read...

I have just built a new house, dual occupancy, villas, townhouses, units, a shop or a commercial development - how do I get new bins?

The owner of the property requiring bins should submit a bin request form to council via email at hccmail@hurstville.nsw.gov.au or post to PO Box 205, Hurstville, BC NSW 1481. Continue to read...

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