Graham Street Scheme Approved
Works on the Graham Street Special Charge Scheme are anticipated to begin by October following determination by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) upholding the scheme.
After Council’s initial declaration of the charge, a Graham Street resident took the matter to VCAT. A hearing was held on 18 June, with a decision handed down on 12 July.
VCAT Senior Member, Tonia Komesaroff, upheld the scheme after finding it reasonable for both Council and residents. In summary, VCAT found that:
- Council appropriately apportioned the level of community benefit associated with the proposed works in the scheme,
- the applicant gains a special benefit, and the benefits to the applicants land claimed by Council are real; and
- the basis of the distribution of the charge amongst those who are liable to pay the charge is not unreasonable.
“I am satisfied that council appropriately apportioned the community benefit of 72 per cent for the Bass Highway-Graham Street component and the private benefit of 28 per cent,” Ms Komesaroff wrote in the decision.
“I agree with council that the benefits they claim for her land are real.”
The total scheme cost is $2.09 million, with property owners included within the scheme contributing a combined $592,000.
On top of Council’s $1.5 million contribution, there is also an additional $310,000 which Council is including for footpath and public lighting works, over and above the works included in the scheme.
Residents have been notified of the VCAT decision and Council officers are now preparing to tender for the works.