Sunshine Coast Council today approved the removal of fees and charges for not for profit organisations for regulated activities, street stalls and temporary events on public or private land.
The charging of the fees, adopted as part of the 2013/14 budget, was put on hold to allow council to reconsider its decision.
Community Programs and Policy Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the removal of the fees was recommended following concerns raised by the community and some councillors.
“The 2013/14 budget included a minimal fee for not for profit organisations wanting to use public or private land for events. The fee, introduced for the first time this financial year, was intended to recover half the cost of the resourcing required to assess and process the applications,” Cr McKay said.
“However, since the adoption of the budget council has heard from a range of not for profit groups concerned about their ability to pay the fee and the impact it will have on fundraising efforts.
“In response to these concerns, a number of councillors expressed the view that given council already provides a range of in-kind support to not-for-profit groups including fee waivers and grants programs, it should also continue to absorb the processing costs of applications from not for profit groups who wish to use council controlled land.
“To ensure those costs to council are limited, the groups will be encouraged to contact council as early as possible when planning events.
“Today, I am very pleased with our decision to remove the fee for not for profit organisations requiring a permit for regulated activities, street stalls and temporary events on public or private land. This is a good outcome that will assist our many wonderful, diverse not for profit groups to continue contributing to our Sunshine Coast communities in so many different ways.”
Letters will now go out to all not for profit groups who have held regulated activities, street stalls and temporary events over the last 12 months advising of council’s decision.