City of Cockburn, PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, 6965
Telephone: (08) 9411 3444

Main Points of Interest - FAQ's for 2016/17

Cockburn Rates Concession FAQs 

Why is a rates concession necessary for some residents?

The concession is required to ensure that the yearly rates increase for each single improved residential property doesnt exceed the percentage increase adopted by Council in its annual budget.

This measure is necessary due to the previous incorporation of waste and security charges into general rates.

Is my property eligible for a Rates Concession?

Your property will receive a rates concession of at least $5 where it is a single dwelling under the Improved Residential property category and it has a GRV value that is $20,877 or greater.

Your rates brochure explains how you can work out the concession amount and includes a worked example.


When will I receive my rates notice?

The City of Cockburn rates notices were mailed out on 29 July 2016.

If you have not received yours by mid August, please contact 9411 3444, or email one of our staff via: with your:

        1. Name,
        2. Contact details,
        3. Address of the property and;
        4. Your Postal address.


Why have my rates gone up by more than inflation?

The Citys workforce contributes the largest share of operating costs and these have gone up due to enterprise agreement commitments and growth related to increasing services to the community.

Above CPI increases have also applied to State Government utility, waste management and other charges the City must fund.

The City has also recently adopted detailed asset management plans which highlight the need for extra funding if existing service delivery levels are to be maintained over the long term from existing assets.

Responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of a rapidly growing asset base comprising new roads, footpaths and parks from new subdivisions has also added to the cost pressures faced by the City.


But my rates have gone up by more than the average increase

The City has continued to incorporate the waste and co-safe charges into the rate in the dollar, similar to Melville, Fremantle and East Fremantle Councils. The reason why Council has done this action is so that Pensioners will be entitled to a larger rebate even with the Government cap of $750.

Given pensioners are living on fixed incomes such as the  Age Pension, many of the pensioners have been impacted by negative adjustments made in the recent Federal and State Government budgets. As such, this action will provide many of the approximately 6000 pensioners with a bigger rebate, meaning they will pay less.

Please also note that all relevant information is contained in our Councils Brochure that has gone out with the Rates Notices.

Back to Top

Common Questions and Answers

Q: What other Council charges have increased and why?

  • The pool levy has increased from $36.00 To $36.50, an increase of 1.4%
  • The State Governments Fire Levy has risen by 4.2% - This is a state government levy and we do not know why it has increased by more than CPI.

Q: Why do I have to pay rates as I dont use any of your facilities?

Every ratepayer uses one or more facilities provided by the Council. The moment you drive out of your property onto a road you are using a Council facility.

If you live outside of the City and have a rental property, your tenant uses the Councils facilities.

Q: What services does Council provide for my rates?

The Council provides a great number of services, here is a short list:

  • Libraries
  • Child, Youth, Family, Seniors and Aged Services
  • Community Centres and Sporting Facilities
  • Land use planning and regulation
  • Building licencing, regulation and advice
  • Health Services for the regulation and inspection of food premises, dust and noise monitoring to protect and improve community amenities, and management of contaminated sites.
  • Maintenance and upgrading of roads, drainage and footpaths
  • Weekly collection of waste and recyclables/Waste Management and Disposal
  • Provision and management of beautiful parks, reserves, sporting facilities and ovals across the City of Cockburn.
  • Management of beaches and beach reserves
  • Management of lakes and nature reserves
  • Free family concerts and events
  • Generous Community Grants and donations program
  • Spot landscaping and beautification in strategic locations throughout the City of Cockburn
  • Provision of public art

Q: What do you do with the money raised by my rates?

The City will spend $215.26M on works and services in 2016/17, including $73M on capital projects.

This year, the City will commence or complete a number of major community infrastructure projects including the Cockburn ARC ( Aquatic & Recreation Centre )., the new Bibra Lake Adventure Playground, an outdoor facility incorporating references to the local environment, wildlife and the role it plays in the lives of local Aboriginal people.

The budget also includes the progressive refurbishment of older infrastructure, ensuring that the needs of the community continue to be met in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Q: I never see anything with the money you get from me.

The City spends money across all areas of the City and in each suburb. Just look at your local park, footpath, new or resealed roads, all street lights are being kept on despite the State Government increasing the cost by 100% in two years, the weekly rubbish and recycling collection service are all services provided by your local Cockburn Council.

Just check the website under Council Services or Community Services to find out what other services are provided. The list is long and you will use one of them every day.

Back to Top

Q: How does Cockburn compare with surrounding Councils?

Cockburns 2.5% for improved residential and 3.0% for improved commercial/industrial and vacant land compares quite favourably: 

  • Fremantle is rising by 3.0%
  • Melville is rising by 2.45% 
  • Kwinana Residential 3.0%
  • Rockingham is rising by 4.0% 

Q: I am a pensioner, can I get a concession on my rates account?

Provided pensioners meet the eligibility criteria, they will be entitled to claim up to 50% of their current years rates which is capped to a maximum amount of $750 and 50% of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) which is a State Government imposed charge to fund the fire brigade and the SES. Underground Power (UGP) rebates are also available for up to 50%of the charge.

Full Pensioners are able to defer payment of their Rates, UGP and ESL charges. 

For an immediate application to register for a concession, eligible ratepayers must apply online with Water Corporation at or contact them on 1300 659 951.

Seniors who meet the eligibility criteria are also entitled to claim a rebate of up to 25% of Rates and ESL charges only and this rebate is capped to a maximum amount.  Seniors and Part Pensioners are not entitled to defer their rates, UGP or ESL charges.

Back to Top

Q: How much is the 2016/2017 pension concession for my rates

As part of the 2015/16 State Budget, the State Government announced that from the rating year commencing 1 July 2016, the 50% concession allowed to eligible pensioners on local government rates would be restricted to a capped amount.  Western Australia was the only State not to provide a dollar cap on Local Government Rates. 

The pensioner rates capped amounts will be set each year, consistent with the manner in which seniors rates caps are set.  The gazettal of the cap amount usually occurs in late June, prior to the commencement of the rating year.  The pensioner rate capped amount has been announced as $750 for 2016/17. 

The City does not administer the laws in regards to pensioner concessions.  If you wish to lodge a complaint regarding the capping of the pensioner rebate you will need to contact your local Member of Parliament. 

Q: How can the City help pensioners to pay their Rates?

This year pensioners will benefit from increased rebates because the Waste Management Service charge and the CoSafe Levy have been incorporated in the Rate in the Dollar and the minimum payment for owners of Residential properties.

Pensioners are encouraged to make a regular payment plan either by direct debit or through Centrepay, to pay off their rates each year. The Centrepay option is a free direct bill paying service for customers who receive a Centrelink payment. By contacting Centrelink direct, they will process your deduction request and assist with any questions or alternatively, visit the website at

Q: I cant afford to pay my full rates at this time, how can I pay the rates off in instalments? Can I also pay by monthly instalments?

The Council is aware of ratepayers who are having financial difficulties. If you are unable to meet the required instalments offered by Council, please contact Rates Services to discuss a direct debit payment plan to suit your circumstances.

Council offer direct debit payments by instalment, in full or payment arrangements weekly, fortnightly or monthly and from your cheque or savings account.

Application forms are available on our website or contact or phone 9411 3444.

Q: Am I entitled to Trailer passes?

The City will issue you six free passes and for most ratepayers the Council will provide four verge collections, two junk and two green waste. 

If you have misplaced your rate notice, Council cannot duplicate this original rate notice which has the Trailer passes in the body of that notice and there will be no replacement Trailer passes.

Q: Can we get more Trailer passes?

No, if you wish to use the Henderson Waste Recovery Park after you have used your six Trailer passes, you will have to pay when using the Henderson Waste Recovery Park to dump your rubbish.

Q: Why do Commercial and Industrial properties not receive Trailer passes?

Commercial and industrial premises generate more waste than residential owners, as such Trailer passes have never been extended to the commercial and industrial property owners. A further reason is that many industrial property owners actually have private arrangements for their waste disposal due to the large volumes they generate.

Q: I have a vacant block of land, how come I didnt get Trailer passes?

As vacant land owners do not pay the Waste Charge, they are therefore not entitled to receive the Trailer passes. This is because the cost of providing the Trailer passes is built into the Waste Charge.

Back to Top

Q: How many road side verge collections are you having this year?

Council will provide four verge pick-ups, two general rubbish/junk and two green waste. Read More

Q: Has my property been re-valued this year?

No, Gross Rental Valuations (GRV) are re-assessed every three years and for the City this is effective as at 1st July 2014.

A new revaluation will occur for 2017/18. Unimproved Valuations (UV) are valued annually.

Q: Why have you charged me a specified area rate (SAR)? Are there any other areas being charged?

The City has levied special area rates on the development known as Port Coogee special maintenance, Port Coogee Waterways and Cockburn Coast special maintenance.

These SARs cover the special maintenance needs of these areas when they are handed over by the developer. It has been introduced now so as to allow funds to be collected and to keep the levy at a very low level.

Q: Underground Power: Why is the Council doing UGP?

Council believes that the provision of UGP in older areas such as Coolbellup and East Hamilton Hill assists in the rejuvenation of the suburbs, removes ugly over-head infrastructure and generally improves the amenity of the area together with improving the overall power network, which has grown with more land now being sub-divided.

To facilitate this project, Council is paying 20% of the project cost with rate payers asked to make a contribution over five years.

The Council believes that property values increase as a result of improved amenity in the area plus a more reliable power supply. Works have now been completed in both Coolbellup and Hamilton Hill.

Q: Can I speak to my Councillor and tell them that we are not happy?

You can always speak to your Elected Member, but remember they are only human too.

Keep all communications friendly and this will go a long way to putting your message over to your Elected Member.

Q: Is it better to put my grievance in writing and will I get a written reply? Who do I send it to?

All grievances should be put in writing and should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer.

All letters will be replied to as the matter is researched and hopefully resolved.

Q: When are the next elections?

The Next election is in October 2017.

Read more : Elected Members Page

Q: If I am not happy to put my complaint in writing, what are my alternatives? Can I arrange a meeting with the Mayor?

All rates complaints are dealt with by the administration staff not the Mayor or Elected Members. You can contact the Mayor or your Elected Member but the outcome will not differ unless there has been an error in preparing the assessment.

Q: Can I go to a Council meeting and ask why the rates have increased?

All ratepayers can go to any Council meeting to ask why rates increase. It should be noted that if you wish to attend a Council Meeting to ask questions, you must lodge a public question form before 10 a.m. on the day of a Council Meeting. This form can be obtained from the public question web page, mailed to you, or picked up from our Administration Office.

Back to Top

Other Information

Merchant Credit/Debit Card Surcharge Fees

Council has decided to abolish this fee impost in order to support ratepayers who choose to pay their rates this way. As of 1 July 2016, this fee no longer applies.   

Q. What payment options do you offer?

The City offers a number of payment methods ranging from electronic methods including BPay, direct debit, internet and phone as well as paying in person at the Post Office and Council Administration Office.

Direct Debit payments can be made by instalment, in full or payment arrangements for weekly, fortnightly or monthly from your cheque or savings account.

Application forms are available on our website or contact or phone 9411 3444.

Any amendments or cancellations to a direct debit deduction must be done in writing, please email

Q. Can I receive my rates by email?

Yes, the City now provides the option of receiving your Rates and Instalment notices by email, known as eRates.

Register for this service by following the link to and sign up.

Q. Is there a cost for replacement Rate Notices?

Yes. Please retain your notice for tax purposes and refinancing as copies of rates notices will cost $20 per notice up to a maximum amount of $100 per property.

Back to Top