Lithgow Council estimates that the value of foregone rates on Forestry lands in the Lithgow LGA is $414,000 p.a.
LGNSW has recently called for the abolition of the rate exemption for operational land managed by the NSW Forestry Corporation and this is supported by Lithgow Council.
“A rate exemption currently applies to operational land managed by the NSW Forestry Corporation. Forestry operations have an impact on Council roads and other transport infrastructure in the Lithgow Council LGA and beyond”, said Lithgow Council Mayor Councillor Stephen Lesslie.
Forestry Corporation activities are commercial in nature. It can be argued that the Corporation is receiving a competitive advantage, with the costs of maintaining and renewing transport infrastructure impacted by their operations being shifted to local Councils.
Councillor Lesslie added, “the Mayor of Oberon Council, Cr Kathy Sajowitz, has written to The Hon Paul Toole MP to establish a dialogue with a view to finding a solution to the issue. Lithgow Council supports the action taken by Cr Sajowitz.”
LGNSW and Lithgow Council call on the State Government to introduce a system for transport infrastructure contributions by the Forestry Corporation to address the ongoing infrastructure maintenance, upgrade and renewal needs of council roads.