Signature Care wins case over Council infrastructure charges for Goulburn aged care home

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Graeme Croft has come out on top in his stand-off with Goulburn Mulwaree Council over a $1.8 million infrastructure charge, with Council giving the green light for the project after Signature Care’s analysis showed that Council’s calculations for the charges were wrong.

As we covered here, Signature withdrew its plans for the 144-bed aged care facility in south Goulburn last December after the Council pushed for the provider to be charged $1,831,362 for all infrastructure, including traffic.

Signature Care requested a second review of the charges in January, arguing that the fees did not reflect actual water and sewer use.

The operator provided a water account from its 144-bed aged care facility in Langwarrin, Victoria, which wasn’t fully occupied. This was cross-checked by the Council with another facility in the area.

It was determined that the water and sewer charges for the new development should be recalculated, resulting in a $627,945 reduction on the initially calculated infrastructure fees.

Taking stormwater into account, the final infrastructure bill for the project is now $1,088,434 – a $800,000-plus reduction.

Mr Croft (pictured right) has welcomed the news, saying his aged care developments target 98 litres per person daily, less than the 155-litre average household use.

“It’s a conversion rate and confirms what we said all along – that the fees were too high. Once you do the analysis, it falls into line with other councils,” he said.

Construction on the development is now expected to start later this year or in early 2022.