Canal and lake special charges

Canal and lake refunds received

Canal and lake front property owners at Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters have received their refund cheques.

Council has also advertised nationally to help find any previous owners for whom who we don’t have contact details. A list of properties to which outstanding refunds apply can be found here.

If you owned property in Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise or Sovereign Waters between July 2011 and March 2017 and have not provided Council your current address, please email it, address details of the canal or lake property that you owned, and the duration of ownership, to

Frequently asked refund questions

Q. How were the refunds calculated?
A. Council engaged an external firm to undertake this body of work. The methodology can be found in the BDO Allocation of Unspent Funds Report. A BDO Revisions Note is available.

Q. Why are there multiple names on my cheque?
A. Council has issued refunds to the registered owners of the properties. Sometimes that means there are two or more names on the cheque.

Q. Can Council re-issue the cheque in my name only?
A. Council cannot re-issue cheques to one individual at the request of one property owner.

Q. Are all canal and lake property owners getting a refund?
A. Not all property owners will be getting refunds. Refunds depend on the length of time of property ownership and amount of works undertaken by Council in any of the financial years of ownership.

Citywide community consultation

Council has completed citywide community engagement around the best way to manage and fund the maintenance required for our city’s canals and lakes.

At the General Meeting of Council on Wednesday, 6 June 2018, Council noted the canal and lake community consultation reports. Council will consider these reports ahead of further deliberations on the matter. A decision is yet to be made.

For information visit Council’s Your Say page.

Changes to canal and lake special charges 

The refunds of canal and lake special charges follow a review by Council of compliance with the requirements under the relevant legislation after which Council took the pro-active step to refund the unspent charges collected.

Analysis by an independent consultant involved the review of records back to 2011-12 for more than 1200 properties.

It is important to note that the decision to refund unspent collected monies does not affect special charges collected for services or activities for other areas of the city, as the charges being refunded were collected from canal and lakefront property owners and reserved specifically for work on canals and the lake, such as dredging, cleaning and repairs to revetment walls.

Discussions on the best way to manage and fund ongoing maintenance of the canals and lake have already commenced with stakeholder groups and will be rolled out citywide in the coming months.

Council adopted 12-month Special Charges for the city’s canal and lakefront properties for 2017-18.

In March 2017 Council announced it would refund unspent monies that had been collected for canal and lake maintenance and repairs since 2011-12 but to date had not been applied towards the relevant services and activities.

Council also advised it would temporarily cease the canal and lake Special Charges for the last quarter of 2016-17 (April-June 2017) and, subject to future budget deliberations and Council resolution, there may be new Special Charges allocated to canal and lake-front property owners in the 2017-18 year.

The new Special Charges have been included in the 2017-18 Budget brought down on 26 June 2017.

The new 2017-18 canal and lake special charges have been carefully and independently reviewed prior to adoption. 

Council will continue to roll out the scheduled canal and lake maintenance works for which these special charges have been collected.

The former Special Charges were ceased earlier in 2017 after Council proactively determined the charges levied between 2011-12 and 2016-17 may have been deficient in adhering strictly to legislative requirements, such as not properly stating the estimated costs of carrying out the works or timeframe.

The new Special Charges comprise annual charges of:

  • $723.60 for a standard lot at Sovereign Waters
  • $2354.28  for a standard lot at Raby Bay Canal Estate (including lots 1 to 12 on GTP 2073)
  • $1364.24 for a unit in a Community Title Scheme at Raby Bay Canal Estate (excluding lots 1 to 12 on GTP 2073)
  • $1189.96 for a marina berth at Raby Bay Canal Estate
  • $2806.28 for a standard lot at Aquatic Paradise Canal Estate
  • $2806.28 for a marina berth at Aquatic Paradise Canal Estate

The refund and temporary suspension of the Special Charges are a result of Council's review of the processes it has followed to levy the Special Charges against the requirements for levying Special Charges as set out in Chapter 4, Part 6 of the Local Government Regulation 2012.  Council determined that there had been some unintentional errors in its processes, particularly in relation to the content of the overall plans.  While, on one level, these are only procedural type errors (e.g. not properly stating the estimated costs of carrying out the overall plan), Council has determined to proactively address them.

Further information