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Frequently Asked Questions

If our FAQs don't answer your question please call our friendly Customer Service team - 6226 1477.

Accounts Payable and Receivable

Payment at Council

  • Payments are accepted at the Administration Building from 9:00am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Payment may be made by cheque, cash, EFTPOS or credit card.

Payment at Post Office

  • Payment can be made at any Australia Post Office within Australia by cheque, cash or EFTPOS. The Post Office will issue you a receipt.

Payment through Mail

  • Payment by cheque/money order can be posted with this payment advice to:
    Yass Valley Council PO Box 6 YASS NSW 2582

Payment via Internet

  • www.postbillpay.com.au can accept cheque, savings and credit payments. BPay via your financial institution can accept cheque and savings payments only.

Payment via Phone

  • 13 18 16 (POSTbillpay) can accept cheque, savings and credit payments. BPay via your financial institution can accept cheque and savings payments only.

Direct Debit

Animals

A cat is being mistreated, will Council attend and take action?

  • No, you will need to contact the RSPCA.

There is a feral cat in my yard, will Council come and collect it?

  • No, you will need to contact the RSPCA.

Why do cats need to be registered?

How do I register my dog or cat?

Do working dogs need to be registered?

There is a snake in my backyard, will Council attend and remove it?

  • No. You will need to contact a local snake catcher or Wildcare. Please visit our Wildlife information page.

Does Council attend or euthanise injured wildlife?

  • No. Please visit our Wildlife information page.

Does Council remove dead kangaroos?

  • Council removes dead kangaroos on or near Council roads which pose a danger to drivers. Please report dangerous carcasses by calling 6226 1477. 

Cemeteries

Ashes can only be interned in Council’s memorial gardens or niche walls by an approved contractor that has provided copies to Council of their public liability insurance (to the value of $10M) and has then been given approval by Council to commence work.

A Niche Wall or Columbarium Wall is a specially designed wall where ashes of the deceased are placed. Only one set of ashes can be interred in each space. A bronze plaque is affixed to the front of the wall covering the space.

When someone has passed away and the family wishes the deceased to be buried, the funeral director will contact Council to make all necessary arrangements. The funeral director will book a date for the burial that is suitable to all parties.

How much does a burial cost?

  • The cost for a burial changes each financial year. Refer to Council's current Fees & Charges at the bottom of this page for the cost.

How much do 'Right of Burials' cost?

  • The reservation fee will vary from cemetery to cemetery and can be found in Council's current Fees & Charges at the bottom of this page.

What is a 'Right of Burial'?

  • When you reserve and pay the appropriate fee for a plot at any of the cemeteries administered by Yass Valley Council, you will be issued with a 'Right of Burial'. This will list your plot details such as Section and Lot number as well as any special instructions such as double depth. This right of burial should be kept in a safe place. You should advise your next of kin of your arrangements so that they are aware of your wishes.

Can I sell my plot to another person?

  • No, the plot cannot be sold to a third party. You have only paid for the “right to be buried” and you do not actually own the land. The right may be transferred free of charge to another person. If this occurs, please notify Council so we can amend our records. Alternatively, the site can be returned to Council and the original price, less a cancellation fee, will be refunded.

Who can install or repair monuments?

Can I do work to a grave?

  • No, you are not able to undertake any activity other than the cleaning or weeding around a grave. You will need to contact Council regarding any maintenance issues or internment matters. 

Can I leave flowers at a grave?

  • Yes, provided they are in plastic vases. Due to risk of injury, glass, pottery and ceramic vases are not to be left at the cemetery.

Can I plant trees, shrubs and bushes on the grave?

  • No, it is essential that lawn areas be kept clear at all times.

Once you have decided on an area by visiting a cemetery, you then need to contact Council. Please be aware that your first choice may not always be available. This could be for a number of reasons, including existing 'Right of Burials', previous internment or future planning requirements.

Council

Addressing Council in Open Forum

  • Members of the public are invited to address Council during Open Forum, which precedes an Ordinary Council Meeting. A registration form to speak in Open Forum must be received no later than 4.00pm the day prior to the meeting. 

How often are Council meetings held?

  • Council meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of the month, with the exceptions of:
    • The December meeting is held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
    • There is no meeting in January.

When can I access Agenda Papers for Council Meetings?

  • Agenda papers for Council meeting will be available for viewing on Council’s website Friday morning, at the latest, prior to the Council meeting. A hard copy of agenda papers is available for viewing at village Post Offices and also the Library.

Please visit our Australian Citizenship page for more information.

Nominations for Council Committees are called every 4 years, in line with the term of Council. Nominations for Council Committees are open to members of the community and will be widely advertised.

Please visit our Mayor & Councillors page for information on our Councillors, including their direct contact details.

Fire Hazards

Long grass in neighbouring properties becomes a concern for neighbours in regard to a fire hazard or the presence of vermin (mice or rats) and wildlife (snakes). Council will inspect a block of concern and if need be, refer to NSW Fire & Rescue for advice and possible service of a notice. In regards to mice and rats, these need to be observed on the block for any action to be taken. Council cannot take action in regards to the possible presence of snakes as they are a natural environmental occurrence.

Footpaths

Please notify Council as soon as possible, by phoning 6226 1477 during business hours, to report your accident and so Council can organise an inspection.

Library

The loan period is for three weeks. Renewals can be arranged by asking at the desk, phoning the Library on 6226 1305 or online.

You may borrow up to 30 items (these can be a mix of books, magazines, DVDs etc).

  • Audio books
  • Children's books, DVDs, CDs
  • Fiction and non-fiction books
  • HSC resources
  • Large print books
  • Magazines
  • Popular music on CD, DVDs.

Free Internet access is available at Yass and Murrumbateman Libraries. One hour sessions on the internet can be booked up to a week in advance. Printouts cost 40 cents per page.

WiFi access is available at the Yass Library using your own WiFi enabled device.

The Yass Library has old Yass newspapers available on Microfilm, dating back to 1857. These can be printed for 40 cents for A4 and 60 cents for A3 (per page). The Library also holds a number of books relevant to the history of Yass and surrounds.

The Yass Archives is located near the Library and is open on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm to 5pm. The Yass & District Historical Society is another fantastic resource for local history.

Photocopying can be done in black and white or colour. Our current prices are located in Council's latest Fees & Charges document at the bottom of this page.

Mowing

No. You, as the resident, are responsible for mowing your own nature strip or road verge.

Long grass in neighbouring properties becomes a concern for neighbours in regard to a fire hazard or the presence of vermin (mice or rats) and wildlife (snakes). Council will inspect a block of concern and if need be, refer to NSW Fire & Rescue for advice and possible service of a notice. In regards to mice and rats, these need to be observed on the block for any action to be taken. Council cannot take action in regards to the possible presence of snakes as they are a natural environmental occurrence.

Parks and Reserves

All parks are available for public use at any time. Council does not take bookings for parties etc.

By placing a Customer Service Request, including the tree location, our Parks and Recreation staff will conduct an assessment.

Planning and Building

 What is a Building Information Certificate and why is my solicitor telling me I need one?

  • There isn’t any legislation which requires you to obtain a Building Information Certificate prior to purchasing a property, however many solicitors and conveyancers may advise you to do so. It is a way of managing the risk associated with an unapproved or old development. 
  • Building Information Certificates are often treated like retrospective approval documents even though technically they are not. Once issued, Building Information Certificates restrict Council's ability to issue a number of orders. These orders generally relate to the demolition or alteration of a building. They provide certainty that a building which was not approved or finalised is considered acceptable by Council. In some circumstances (for example an unapproved dual occupancy) a development application may also be required.

How is the Building Information Certificate different from Planning Certificates?

  • Planning Certificates issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 relate to planning controls and other information relating to the land (eg. zoning and development approvals).
  • Building Information Certificate issued under Section 6.25 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 apply to buildings situated on the land.

Can I submit an old survey report with my application?

  • The survey report submitted with your application has to be a current representation of all buildings and structures on the land as they exist at the time of lodgement. If there had been any building works that were carried out since preparation of the survey a new report will need to be prepared.

Does the property need to be inspected by Council officers before a Building Information Certificate is issued?

  • Yes, details of the contact person available to organise access (e.g. managing agent) must be provided on the application form.

How long do Building Information Certificate take to process?

  • Approximately 10 working days, however depending on the complexity or age of the building the processing time may take longer. If access cannot be gained this may cause a delay. You must ensure access for Council officers is possible during business hours.

Are there any additional penalties for unauthorised works?

  • An application made for a Building Information Certificate does not eliminate the potential issue of fines that may be imposed for breaches under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 or the Local Government Act 1993.

It is a legal requirement to gain approval from Council before you install a solid fuel heater in your home or business. Solid fuel heaters are also known as ‘slow combustion heaters’, ‘pot belly stoves’, ‘wood fire heaters’ or ‘tile fires’. Please refer to the Common Application Types page, with more information listed under 'Solid Fuel Heaters'.

Any residential work exceeding $5,000 requires an owner builder permit, however, owner builders are not required to undertake an approved owner builder course until the cost of works exceeds $12,000. These courses, approved by the Director General of the Department of Fair Trading, are offered at certain TAFE's and Private providers eg. South East Community College along with the Sydney Building Information Centre

For further information please visit the NSW Department of Fair Trading for more information.

If you are having a private, one-off event on your land (eg. a wedding), you don’t need approval from Council (but we still recommend you let your neighbours know!). If you are putting up a marquee for your event, as long as it meets the requirements of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) 2008, this also doesn’t need approval from Council.

You are able to request this information from Council. Please review the information on our Water, Sewer & Stormwater Assets page.

It is fairly common for older houses and structures not to have approval records. For more recent structures it could indicate that they were constructed without approval or for some minor structures (small garden sheds) that approval wasn’t required. If you are selling your home your solicitor may ask you to obtain a Building Information Certificate for these structures.

Please visit our Common Application Types page and look under "Subdivision" for more information.

Unfortunately the online application “Track my DA” is currently unavailable. If you are seeking progress on a DA you have lodged please speak to our Customer Service team – 6226 1477 / Council@yass.nsw.gov.au.

Council can only rely on the available written evidence and is not in a position to issue retrospective approval.

Council will carry out a final inspection and assess whether an occupation certificate can be issued if less than 10 years has passed since the last recorded inspection. Where a greater period of time has passed you will need to pursue a Building Information Certificate.

Information about easements is accessible on title information available through the NSW Land Registry Services. Many land titling records are accessible online.

Formal information about applicable planning controls can be obtained by lodging a Planning Certificate application with Council (fees apply). Alternatively, the NSW Planning Portal website is another useful tool in identifying planning controls applicable to a particular site. For more detailed information see Development Applications or seek the services of an experienced professional.

Please visit our Common Application Types, under 'Filling on Rural Properties' for more information.

Any concerns of unlawful land use or building works, especially those which are life-threatening or pose a serious risk to the environment, should be reported to Council for investigation, preferably in writing. Compliance and enforcement action for unlawful land use or building works will be dealt with in accordance with Council's RAN-POL-5 - Enforcement Policy, adopting a risk-based and escalated approach.

The Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 determines whether a truck(s) can be parked on rural properties. Whether approval is required to park a truck on a rural property will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The zoning of the land.
  • The number of trucks being parked.
  • The number of employees.
  • Whether they are associated with an agricultural use of the land.

For more information please refer to Council's DA-POL-11 Truck & Transport Depots in Rural Areas Policy

A development application is required when you want to undertake development on your land that is permissible within the land use zone (within the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013). If you are seeking to change the zone of your property or wish to undertake development that is prohibited within a zone a Planning Proposal will be required to be prepared for your property. You should always speak with the Strategic Planning Team first to determine whether Council is likely to support your Planning Proposal.

Approval must be gained from the NSW Department of Primary Industry - Water for a bore, well, spearpoint or excavation to access groundwater.

The Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 determines whether constructing a dam requires a development consent. The table below shows whether or not a dam requires a development consent in rural zones.

Zone Water Storage Facility (Dam)
RU1 – Primary Production Permitted without Development Consent
RU2 – Rural Landscape Permitted without Development Consent
RU4 – Primary Production Small Lots Permitted without Development Consent
E3 – Environmental Management Development Consent required
E4 – Environmental Living Permitted without Development Consent
R5 – Large Lot Residential Development Consent required

You can use the NSW Department of Planning & Environment’s Planning Portal to assist you in finding the zone of your land.  

All dams are subject to the Maximum Harvestable Right Dam Capacity (MHRDC). The MHRDC is the total dam capacity allowed under the harvestable right for your property and takes into account rainfall and variations in rainfall pattern. If you want to construct a dam that is larger than the MHRDC you will need to licence the volume of water that exceeds the MHRDC, unless it is taken under a basic landholder right. The NSW Department of Primary Industry - Water administer licences for dams exceeding the MHRDC.

When building a dam, it is important to make sure that the appropriate approval or licence has been obtained, if this is required. Make sure that the dam is carefully located so it is effective, safe and has minimal impacts on neighbours and the environment. You will also need to ensure construction of the dam meets all other legal requirements (such as, the protection of biodiversity) or consents from government agencies (such as, NSW DPI, Fisheries).

More information on dams, MHRC and licencing can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industry – Water website.

You simply need to request the information by emailing Council@yass.nsw.gov.au and the latest data will be emailed directly to you.

Public Health

Generally rainwater is safe to drink, as long as the rainwater tank is properly maintained and the rainwater is clear with little taste or smell. Rainwater can become contaminated with harmful micro-organisms and parasites, with common sources of contamination being bird or animal droppings, roof or plumbing materials and the accumulation of organic material in gutters. It is important to maintain rainwater tanks and associated plumbing to prevent contamination and to ensure the provision of good quality water.  

Further Information
  • NSW Health has further information on the maintenance and safety of rainwater in NSW.
  • EnHealth have a comprehensive guide on the use of rainwater tanks, including the uses of rainwater, managing rainwater quality, maintenance and monitoring rainwater tanks and other practical advice.

Rates

Rates are a tax, not a fee for service. All Council services are provided on a 'user-pays' basis. To learn more about how your rates are calculated please visit our Rates & Charges page.

It may be that you have changed your postal address and haven’t advised Council. Contact us to confirm your details. Council will be able to provide you with a copy of your rates notice via email or through the post regardless.

It could be that you have paid the money off your rates instead of water. This is common when using BPAY, where the reference numbers are the same but the biller codes are different (4390 for Rates & 39982 for Water). Check your payment details, and if this has occurred, contact Council and we can transfer the payment across to the correct account for you.

You may be entitled to a rebate off your rates if you hold either a Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink or a Gold Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Complete Form 205 - Pensioner Concession Application Form and forward it to Council to determine eligibility. LINK

For more information please refer to the Pensioner Concession Fact Sheet.

Water accounts are sent out every four months. The usage charge is levied to cover the cost of pumping and treating the water. This charge applies to all properties connected to town water. Please refer to the current Fees & Charges (below) for the per kilolitre price.

If your water bill is unusually high, you may have a water leak. An easy way to confirm, is to follow the below steps before contacting Council:

  • Turn off all taps in your house.
  • Obtain a reading from your meter and don't use any water for a few hours.
  • Check the meter reading again. If the numbers have moved you may have a leaking pipe, toilet cistern or tap and should contact your plumber.

Council does not replace waste vouchers. They are sent to all rate payers with their annual rates notice. If you receive your rates notice via email, the waste vouchers will be attached to the email.

When using BPAY the Biller Code for Water Billing purposes is 39982 and the assessment number is the reference number.

Council's Biller Code for POSTbillpay is 2095 and the assessment number is the reference number.

The purpose of this charge is to offset the costs of waste disposal and recycling activities throughout the Council area, including the development and rehabilitation of landfill sites, as well as subsidising the operating costs of Transfer Stations. It does not entitle you to a kerbside collection as this service is subject to an additional charge levied on all properties who receive this service.

All rateable properties are subject to the waste management charge and entitles you to two waste vouchers that are included with your annual rates notice. These vouchers can be used at any of Council’s transfer stations during the applicable financial year.

Roads

You simply need to request the information by emailing Council@yass.nsw.gov.au and the latest data will be emailed directly to you.

Rubbish and Recycling

Council does not replace waste vouchers. They are sent to all rate payers with their annual rates notice. If you receive your rates notice via email, the waste vouchers will be attached to the email.

Please visit our Kerbside Collection page for more information.

Lost or stolen bins

  • All lost or stolen bins will require you to pay for their replacement. The cost for replacement is available below in our current Fees & Charges.

Form 56 - Application for Replacement Kerbside Bin/s LINK

Damaged bins

  • Damaged lids, wheels and wheel axles can be replaced for free. Please notify Council by calling 6226 1477 or placing an online Customer Service Request.

The purpose of this charge is to offset the costs of waste disposal and recycling activities throughout the Council area, including the development and rehabilitation of landfill sites, as well as subsidising the operating costs of Transfer Stations. It does not entitle you to a kerbside collection as this service is subject to an additional charge levied on all properties who receive this service.

All rateable properties are subject to the waste management charge and entitles you to two waste vouchers that are included with your annual rates notice. These vouchers can be used at any of Council’s transfer stations during the applicable financial year.

Before calling Council, please ensure you have adhered to the following:

  • Place your bins facing the kerbside before 6am on your designated collection day.
  • Ensured that there is no contamination in your bin - visit our What can go in my bin page for more information.
  • Ensured nothing is obstructing your bin, like a parked car.

If you believe your bin has been missed, please contact Council on 6226 1477. On confirmation the truck has been past your property and your bin has been unintentionally missed, Council will arrange for the collection of your bin.

Trees

By placing a Customer Service Request, including the tree location, our Parks and Recreation staff will conduct an assessment.

Please remove to our Tree Removal page for more information.

Water and Sewer

It could be that you have paid the money off your rates instead of water. This is common when using BPAY, where the reference numbers are the same but the biller codes are different (4390 for Rates & 39982 for Water). Check your payment details, and if this has occurred, contact Council and we can transfer the payment across to the correct account for you.

You may be entitled to a rebate off your rates if you hold either a Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink or a Gold Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Complete Form 205 - Pensioner Concession Application Form and forward it to Council to determine eligibility. LINK

For more information please refer to the Pensioner Concession Fact Sheet.

Generally rainwater is safe to drink, as long as the rainwater tank is properly maintained and the rainwater is clear with little taste or smell. Rainwater can become contaminated with harmful micro-organisms and parasites, with common sources of contamination being bird or animal droppings, roof or plumbing materials and the accumulation of organic material in gutters. It is important to maintain rainwater tanks and associated plumbing to prevent contamination and to ensure the provision of good quality water.  

Further Information
  • NSW Health has further information on the maintenance and safety of rainwater in NSW.
  • EnHealth have a comprehensive guide on the use of rainwater tanks, including the uses of rainwater, managing rainwater quality, maintenance and monitoring rainwater tanks and other practical advice.

Water accounts are sent out every four months. The usage charge is levied to cover the cost of pumping and treating the water. This charge applies to all properties connected to town water. Please refer to the current Fees & Charges (below) for the per kilolitre price.

If your water bill is unusually high, you may have a water leak. An easy way to confirm, is to follow the below steps before contacting Council:

  • Turn off all taps in your house.
  • Obtain a reading from your meter and don't use any water for a few hours.
  • Check the meter reading again. If the numbers have moved you may have a leaking pipe, toilet cistern or tap and should contact your plumber.

This type of information is available in Council's monthly chemical analysis reports and yearly chemical analysis summary which can be found on our Water Quality page.

When using BPAY the Biller Code for Water Billing purposes is 39982 and the assessment number is the reference number.

Council's Biller Code for POSTbillpay is 2095 and the assessment number is the reference number.

You are able to request this information from Council. Please review the information on our Water, Sewer & Stormwater Assets page.

Approval must be gained from the NSW Department of Primary Industry - Water for a bore, well, spearpoint or excavation to access groundwater.

The Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 determines whether constructing a dam requires a development consent. The table below shows whether or not a dam requires a development consent in rural zones.

Zone Water Storage Facility (Dam)
RU1 – Primary Production Permitted without Development Consent
RU2 – Rural Landscape Permitted without Development Consent
RU4 – Primary Production Small Lots Permitted without Development Consent
E3 – Environmental Management Development Consent required
E4 – Environmental Living Permitted without Development Consent
R5 – Large Lot Residential Development Consent required

You can use the NSW Department of Planning & Environment’s Planning Portal to assist you in finding the zone of your land.  

All dams are subject to the Maximum Harvestable Right Dam Capacity (MHRDC). The MHRDC is the total dam capacity allowed under the harvestable right for your property and takes into account rainfall and variations in rainfall pattern. If you want to construct a dam that is larger than the MHRDC you will need to licence the volume of water that exceeds the MHRDC, unless it is taken under a basic landholder right. The NSW Department of Primary Industry - Water administer licences for dams exceeding the MHRDC.

When building a dam, it is important to make sure that the appropriate approval or licence has been obtained, if this is required. Make sure that the dam is carefully located so it is effective, safe and has minimal impacts on neighbours and the environment. You will also need to ensure construction of the dam meets all other legal requirements (such as, the protection of biodiversity) or consents from government agencies (such as, NSW DPI, Fisheries).

More information on dams, MHRC and licencing can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industry – Water website.

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Yass Valley Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Yass Valley Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Yass Valley Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Yass Valley Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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