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Council documents revised to deliver support in times of natural disaster

17 November, 2022

A draft Hardship Policy, and a revised 2022-23 Fees and Charges Schedule including a Natural Disaster Category, are on exhibition for 28 days.

Gunnedah Shire Council endorsed the exhibition of the draft documents at the November ordinary Council meeting on Wednesday.

The draft revised Hardship Policy aims to provide clarity and transparency to the community on the hardship provisions for residential and farmland rate assessments including the determination of hardship, options available to ratepayers and the application and assessment process.

The recent floods in Gunnedah Shire have caused considerable financial hardship for many ratepayers whose properties have been impacted by floodwaters. While Council is unable to waive or reduce rates for individual ratepayers, Council does have the ability through Council’s adopted Hardship Policy to enter into payment plans and waive overdue interest in genuine cases of hardship.

Council’s revised Fees and Charges Schedule, if adopted, would enable the General Manager and /or delegated staff to waive or reduce fees in cases where ratepayers and residents are impacted by a natural disaster event.

The inclusion of the new category was prompted by the successive flooding events in Gunnedah Shire in the past eight months and could be enabled following a Natural Disaster Declaration by the NSW Government for impacted residents for a set period of time following the natural disaster event.

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said it was great to see the two motions supported unanimously by Council.

“Our community has been through the wringer and residents need every bit of help we can offer them as a Council. At the moment, decisions on fee waiving and reductions must go before Council which means we can’t act as quickly as we need to during a natural disaster. It’s vital that Council is able to step in and assist residents as soon as possible and the inclusion of this new category will allow for that,” he said.

The draft wording to be included in Council’s Hardship Policy and 2022-23 Fees and Charges Schedule have been placed on public exhibition and written submissions are invited by the undersigned up until 4.00pm on Friday, 16 December 2022. The documents can be viewed at Council's Administration Building at 63 Elgin Street or online at

Submissions should be addressed to the General Manager, Gunnedah Shire Council, PO Box 63, Gunnedah NSW 2380 or via email

The adopted Fees and Charges Schedule will be amended to include the above Category after the public exhibition period if no submissions are received from the public. However, if submissions are received, a further report will be prepared for the following Council meeting after the end of the public exhibition period, which will include a summary of submissions and whether any changes should be considered by Council.

Caption: Gunnedah Shire has experienced six flood events since November 2021.


For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.