Rates, fees and charges

Local Government Act Review

​As part of the State Government’s reform agenda, a new Local Government Act will be drafted.

Our vision is for the local government sector to be agile, smart and inclusive.

Our objective is to transform local government so that it is empowered to better deliver quality governance and services to their communities now and into the future.

We are looking at rates, fees and charges as an area of reform.

​​The current system

  • Rates raise revenue to fund community services and facilities.
  • Long term financial plans should underpin rate setting.
  • Schools, religious institutions and land used for charitable purposes are exempt from rates.
  • Rates are imposed uniformly (a single rate in the dollar for all properties) or differentially (different rates in the dollar for different categories of property use).


The department undertook consultation on the topic of rates, fees and charges during stage two of the Local Government Act review consultation.

Rates, fees and charges summary discussion paper

Rates, fees and charges discussion paper

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and how feedback will inform a new Local Government Act.

What you’ve told us

  • There is a lack of transparency around how rates and charges are raised and where this burden falls. 
  • Advertising requirements for imposing rates are inconsistent. 
  • Comparing rates across local governments is difficult as a variety of rating categories can be used.
  • Exemptions from rates impose a heavy burden on other ratepayers.

Ideas for change

  • Introduce a requirement to develop and consult on a Rates and Revenue Strategy.
  • Remove or amend exemptions from rates.
  • Standardise rating categories between local governments.
  • Fees and charges to be set at cost recovery.
  • Remove requirement for Ministerial approval of large disparities in rates.


A summary paper which outlines what we heard from the consultation is now available. The contribution of community members, local governments and others who have supported the process to date will provide valuable input to the Local Government Review Panel and help transform local government in Western Australia.

Local Government Act Review Overview - agile

Local Government Act Review Overview: agile

In 2017 the State Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995 — the first significant review since the Act was introduced more than two decades ago.

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Page reviewed 26 February 2020