Edward Mandla
City of Sydney Budget FY15 and 16

Published On: 18/05/2015

I would like to thank staff for the Sydney and Melbourne comparison in the Relevant To.

Last week I was told it was difficult to compare. I left wondering was it because Melbourne did not use the metric system or decimal currency and then I remembered they are in fact in the same country and a competitor. So I did some comparisons.

What we want to believe is we are competitive. I have presented evidence, and I am clutching the rates notices here in my hand, that a comparative retailer in Sydney, the KFC on Broadway has rates per metre that are double those at the KFC shop in Melbourne City in a City location.

KFC freestanding shop – Council Rates

Rates on 857 George Street Sydney KFC

Annual Rates 2013 / 2014 (Does not include fire levy) - $18,550

Site Dimensions 21.6 x 5.4 metres (117 square metres)

Council Rates per metre $159 per metre

Rates on 201-203 Bourke Street Melbourne KFC

Annual Rates 2014 / 2015 $13,701.45 (does not include fire levy) $13,701.45

Site Dimension 24.6 x 7.6 metres (186.96 square metres)

Rates per metre $73 per metre

Sydney $159 per metre

Melbourne $73 per metre

I also give you a comparison for a days charges on a crane permit that is multiples of ours (4 times) and you tell me that you only want people to use them for half that time. The Customer does not get a look in.

Crane Lift Charges – City of Sydney – 150 Ton crane


Application Fee $1,520

Late application Fee $1,520

Road Closure Fee $1,650

Total $4,690

Crane Lift Charges – City of Melbourne – 150 Ton crane


Application Fee $126.30

Occupation Fee $287.60 per day

Road Closure Fee (two lanes At $126.30 per day each) $252.60

Late application Fee $550

Total $1,166.50

Development Application Lodgement Fee - $1,000,000 cost


City of Sydney ($1,975 lodgement plus $640 plan first fee) $2,615

City of Melbourne $815.00

It also confirmed that we are concerned with what is important to us, not what is important to people who have to build and maintain things and run businesses, especially small ones.

The explanation I have been given on crane charges confirmed my view that perhaps that some of you should, as I have, spend a Saturday morning with a rigging crew. You would know that it takes an hour to set up, and an hour to dismantle a crane, so a four hour permit is almost useless. Half your time is lost. You would also know that someone from the city of Sydney is standing close by to fine you if you are late dismantling your rig. Melbourne understands this and we don’t even pretend we try to.

The rates comparison is also absurd. I present you with a small 117 square metre freehold for comparison, and you give me a property of over 3,000 square metres in a height restricted area in Phillip Street. Comparing three thousand square metre blocks of land, or even 900 square metre blocks of land in a rates valuation context is ridiculous. If you want to be taken seriously, this exercise should be taken seriously, and not the pea and thimble trick that got presented here today.

If that’s not bad enough, the KFC on Broadway tells me he has to lodge a full DA application at a cost of $6,000 every year to maintain his trading hours. We won’t give him approval outside of 12 months.

The people who pay our rates don’t care how we calculate them or on what basis, they just need them to be competitive and our services efficient. That may involve us seeing things from the perspective of those who pay our rates and charges, not ours. They have the luxury of being able to move to another more competitive location, we do not.

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