Hunter Catchment Contributions

Hunter Catchment Contributions Collection Area


What are Hunter Catchment Contributions?

Hunter Catchment Contributions are derived from a levy on all rateable land valued in excess of $300 within the Hunter catchment. The actual rate is based on land values of rateable land at the start of the financial year and is approved by the Minister responsible for administration of the Local Land Services Act 2013 and Local Land Services Regulation 2014.

How much does the levy equate to?

Ratepayers in the Hunter catchment pay an average of approximately $28.51 per rate notice. (2018/19 financial year). In total, more than $5.036 million was collected in 2018-19, funding a range of projects to improve the health of the Hunter catchment. Catchment
Contributions also allow Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) to leverage other sources of investment from NSW and local government, industry and community groups. Catchment Contributions are invested in projects in the Hunter catchment and cannot be spent outside the Hunter catchment.

How long have catchment contributions been collected?

Catchment contributions were first collected by the Hunter Valley Conservation Trust in 1950. In 2014, catchment contributions became the responsibility of Hunter LLS. In addition to catchment health initiatives, a proportion (approximately 30%) of the funds collected is allocated towards maintenance and construction of the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme. This responsibility was introduced in 1956 with the introduction of the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Act (1956) and now continues under the Water Management Act (2000).

How are catchment contributions collected?

Catchment contributions are now collected via local government authorities within the Hunter who collect catchment contributions on behalf of Hunter LLS and receive a commission for this service. This is why you will see a “Catchment Levy” (or similar) line item on your council rates notice.

Why are catchment contributions collected?

Catchment contributions are collected to provide a coordinated approach to the extensive problems of natural resource conservation in the Hunter valley catchment and to undertake flood mitigation works. The revenue generated from this levy enables Hunter Local
Land Services to meet its legislative obligations under the Water Management Act 2000, as well as meeting resource condition and management targets in the Hunter LLS Local Strategic Plan.

Catchment Contributions are used for many types of projects including:

  • Flood Mitigation
    Maintaining the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme
  • Lower Hunter estuary
    Continuing wetland rehabilitation works at Hexham Swamp and within the Hunter estuary
  • Riparian and river health works
    Undertaking projects in targeted areas to improve riverbank stability, water quality and in-stream habitat
  • On-ground incentives program
    Providing financial incentives to landholders in the Hunter catchment to undertake on-ground works addressing natural resource management priorities listed in the Local Strategic Plan including soil erosion works, protecting native vegetation and improving riparian areas
  • Community education, capacity building and engagement
    Implementing communication and education activities for the community and providing funds to community groups for education and communication activities
  • Aboriginal Engagement
    Supporting Aboriginal engagement and capacity building activities for Aboriginal organisations and individuals.

What is the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme?

The Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme is designed to lessen the effects of flooding on both rural and urban areas, reducing flood damage by modifying flood behaviour.

The Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme was built after the disastrous Hunter River flood of 1955. The scheme is an integrated system of levees, floodgates and drains (assets) on the Hunter, Paterson and Williams rivers. It is operated and maintained by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment with support from Hunter Local Land Services.

The scheme does not provide complete flood protection. It is designed to mitigate or reduce flood damage. Scheme assets provide minor flood protection for rural land and moderate flood protection for Maitland, Lorn, Raymond Terrace, Singleton and Aberdeen.

There are more than 2000 individual scheme assets maintained along the rivers and floodplains. The scheme is valued at around $862 million.

Learn more about the Scheme by here: