Landowner special charge schemes

Roads are sealed in one of these 3 ways:  

  • Via Council funded programs, and through funding from other levels of government.
    Generally, this funding is reserved for roads with medium to high traffic volumes.  
  • Developers seal existing unsealed roads as part of their planning permit obligations when a development is built. 
    In new subdivisions, the cost of infrastructure (such as sealed roads, footpaths and drainage) is shared across all lots to be sold by the developer. The purchaser of the new lot and its subsequent purchasers pay to get the benefits of the infrastructure.
  • Residents pay for the road to be sealed through a special charge scheme.

A Special Charge Scheme (SCS) is a charge levied on landowners who benefit from infrastructure works on assets affecting their property.

Implemented under the Local Government Act, it allows Council to recover a percentage of its capital investment from those who benefit directly from the works.

These works may include: 

  • sealed roads
  • kerb and channel
  • footpaths
  • underground drainage
  • car parking 
  • streetscape
  • advertising
  • design works. 

Council calculates these charges based on the benefit to each included property.

Deferral payment options are available, as well as and other payment arrangements for those who are able to demonstrate financial difficulty or hardship.

Our Special Charge Scheme Policy outlines our approach to special charge schemes within the framework of the Local Government Act. The policy also outlines the scheme process in appendix 1.

When purchasing a new lot in a development, infrastructure costs are factored into the purchase price.

This means owners of existing properties who will benefit from the cost of upgrading infrastructure need to cover infrastructure costs themselves.

Rate capping has caused a reduction in Council revenue, which has severely reduced our capacity to contribute to the cost of sealing existing roads.

Approximate cost per kilometre of road:

  • $700,000 (rural type road)
  • $1.5 million (urban type road)

This is for a standard upgrade from a gravel to a sealed road with associated works (including kerb and channel, drainage improvements and footpaths).

This cost is then divided between participants in the scheme, and will vary according to property size, construction standard and benefit to the property.


  • We need to receive a formal request from the majority of property owners along the road, stating that they are willing to fund the special change scheme.
  • For a scheme to proceed, the majority of property owners must support the proposed works and agree to financial contribution. 
  • Note that if the scheme goes ahead, all property owners must contribute even if they are not in favour of the scheme.

For an urban residential lot with a frontage of about 20 metres, the approximate cost to the property owner is generally between $15,000 and $18,000. 

Due to the consultation, reporting and processing time required, it usually takes around 3 to 5 years from planning to construction. The processes required are set out in legislation under the Local Government Act.