The State Government Cabinet is holding a meeting this week to consider a new tax on developers and Councils that donate or contribute electricity infrastructure to Western Power.
City of Greater Geraldton CEO, Ken Diehm, said only just learning about this plan was disappointing as it has been done without seeking additional public comment.
“It was originally proposed in April this year but a decision was deferred due to the public outcry,” said Mr Diehm.
“It was my understanding the State would seek public comment before considering this matter, clearly this is not going to happen now and it has been quietly snuck back into the Cabinet door”.
Under the plan, a tax of 13.9 per cent will apply to any work completed by a third party and then gifted to Western Power, or for any modifications to the existing network and network connections, including subdivisions, street lighting, pole to pillar, built strata, network extensions, substations and transmission lines.
Mr Diehm said the tax will hit the development Industry and Councils across WA and is likely to reap the State around $24M annually.
Mr. Diehm said that the new tax will:
- Push Local government’s rates up as Councils will need to recover the tax from the community through their rates and charges.
- Increase the cost of development, which will result in some developments being shelved or deferred.
- Push land prices up because of higher development costs.
“This is a really disappointing outcome and a body blow to the development industry during a time when everyone is doing it tough,” said Mr Diehm.
“I would urge the government to reconsider this matter.”