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Rate cuts provide heritage relief

THE City of Perth has approved a new rate-relief program in an effort to bolster its heritage conservation campaign. Owners of properties with heritage value are eligible for a 10 per cent reduction in rates by signing an agreement to maintain their properties to a reasonable standard. Lord Mayor Dr Peter Nattrass said the aim of the scheme was to ensure that Perth’s heritage places were well maintained and presented in a manner appropriate to their historical status. “Heritage places can need special care, such as maintaining intricate building facades, and some owners have to find workers with specialist skills or materials to maintain their buildings,” he said in a statement. To be eligible for rate relief, properties must be listed in the ‘register of heritage places’ in the City Planning Scheme. Rate relief will apply initially for three years before a review, and owners would be given an option to roll over for another three years. Council has allowed for up to $350,000 of rates to be refunded in rate relief for the 2006-07 financial year with a total of $154,345 having already been refunded this year. Property owners have until April 30 to apply for rate relief. Other heritage incentives available from the city include conservation and restoration grants of up to $30,000, a $10,000 heritage award and plot ratio transfer entitlements.

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