Frequently Asked Questions
As part of its commitment to providing a high quality administration and service for its residents and ratepayers Botany Bay City Council operates a reception desk and one-stop counter in the foyer of the Administration Centre, 141 Coward Street, Mascot. This enables customers to get help, advice and assistance, with a minimum of trouble and is a valuable aid to people who may be unfamiliar with the way local government operates.
The counter staff have access to all sections within the Council and can quickly arrange for customers to speak or meet with members of the professional team in the appropriate area.
The counter is equipped with a special audio loop and telephone typewriter to assist people with hearing aids or hearing problems to speak with staff. For those people who do not have English as a first language staff will attempt to arrange for an interpreter to assist. The ground floor counter is also easily accessible for people who are disabled or wheelchair bound.
The counter is open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and has a friendly and efficient staff ready to help.
Council staff from time to time field a wide variety of questions from the public about local problems or policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
A list of some of the questions most frequently asked is provided below, together with the answers so residents can direct their queries to the right area. The questions and answers should be taken as a guide only.
Q. How can I pay my rates?
A. Rates may be paid:
- on line Here
- at the Administration Centre, 141 Coward Street, Mascot between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
- by post to PO Box 331, Mascot 1460
- and at any branch of the Commonwealth Bank, anywhere in Australia, whether or not you are a bank customer.
Most debit and credit cards are accepted and an eftpos terminal is available at the Administration Centre.
To pay by telephone, simply call your own bank to use their
B-Pay facilities and quote the reference and biller code numbers shown on your rate notice.
Rates can be paid in full by the due date, or by quarterly instalments in August, November, and February and May. Daily interest accrues on any amount outstanding after the due date. Prompt payment is vital in helping Council manage its money efficiently. If you cannot pay because of illness or sudden loss of work, Council can help in such emergencies.
Ring 9366-3511 to discuss the problem on a confidential basis. Pensioners continue to be eligible for rate rebates.
If you have a query about your rate account contact Council, 9366-3666, between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Q. Do I need approval for .........?
A. You need approval:
To erect any structure such as a front fence, carport, swimming pool or pergola.
To renovate or extend your home apart from painting and simple maintenance.
To do anything at all to the exterior of a Heritage Listed building.
To enlarge windows, doors or knock holes in walls.
To place a skip bin on the road or footpath.
To demolish a building.
To use Council streets or parks to carry out filming (not simple amateur photography).
To use Council parks for a wedding or party.
To erect any new building.
If you wish to erect an advertising structure.
If you wish to use ANY premises for a business.
Q. What is the Title Description and dimension of my land?
A. Council may be able to help you with these but you will have to identify the property with a proper address and the owner's name.
Q. Have you missed my garbage and/or recycling collection?
A. If you call Customer Service on 9366-3666 they will find out what has happened and arrange for collection. It may be the next day before this can be done so please leave your bins out.
Q. What is the zoning of this land?
A. We may be able to help you but you will have to be able to identify the property with the Lot and Deposited Plan No. You may purchase a Zoning Certificate or Section 149 Certificate from the Council.
Q. What about dogs and cats?
A. All dogs over the age of six months and all new cats over the age of six months must be microchipped by a veterinarian and registered with Council. This is a lifetime registration providing the dog or cat continues to live in NSW. If you have queries about registration or are having trouble with someone else's dog barking or straying call Customer Service on 9366-3666.
Q. Can I trim my tree?
A. Council has a Tree Preservation Policy. This simply means that "any tree that is three metres high or 600mm around the trunk at one metre above ground" cannot be trimmed lopped or removed without the consent of Council. There can be large fines for breach of this policy.
Q. What are the Council Clean-Up dates?
A. Council conducts regular clean-ups throughout the Council area approximately every three months. The dates may vary because of weather, holidays etc. Residents are notified by a letter box drop shortly before the clean-up is due to start.
Q. When are the streets swept?
A. The streets are swept regularly but allowance should be made for bad weather, including strong winds, and parked cars.
Q. What about rubbish dumping?
A. This is a big problem for all Councils. It is against the law to dump rubbish on any Council street, park or property and can attract a large fine for offenders. If you see someone dumping please call the council and if you can note the registration number of the vehicle it would be of great assistance. If you find dumped rubbish then call Customer Service who will arrange for it to be removed.
Q. Have you any Planning Codes?
A. Council has quite a lot of planning codes such as multi-unit dwelling, subdivision, energy efficiency and off street parking to name a few. All codes may be purchased for a small fee through Customer Service.
Q. Have you any halls for hire?
A. Council does have halls, parks, sporting fields and swimming pools for hire. Contact Customer Service.
Q. What about abandoned vehicles?
A. If you see an abandoned vehicle in your street please phone Customer Service who will arrange for its removal. It may take a little time as checks have to be made with the Police to see whether it is stolen or not . Attempts are also made to contact the owner before it can be removed.
Q. When is my nature strip going to be mown?
A. Council mows nature strips on a rotation basis. We mow all the streets in the City so once we have mown your nature strip there are many more to do before we return to your street once again. During incessant periods of wet weather and during the summer months we can get behind and it takes a while for our gangs to catch up. At these times we ask that residents assist by mowing the nature strip if possible. If you are unable to assist Council please be patient and the work will be carried out as soon as possible.
Q. I would like the tree on the nature strip trimmed or removed. Who should I talk to?
A. Please contact Council on 9366 3666 or visit the one-stop counter with your request. It will be forwarded to the relevant staff member for assessment. Only those trees found to be unhealthy or hazardous are removed and others may undergo treatment. Council's Tree Preservation Officer will determine if the tree is to be trimmed or removed and you will be informed of the outcome of their appraisal.
Q. Can my nature strip be planted?
A. Council provides a service to residents to install planted nature strips around the base of street trees. This work will only be carried out after a resident agrees to maintain the planted area. Contact Council's Parks and Landscape Department for a form to be sent to you. When you complete the form and return it to Council your request is formalised. Your name and address will be placed on the list for the work to be carried out as son as possible.
Most nature strips on main roads are designated grass only so just a few selected nature strips will be fully planted , where it ties in with the a streetscape treatment.
Q. A tree on my neighbours property is hanging over my property. What can be done about it ?
A. Trees from neighbouring properties can cause problems. Overhanging vegetation has the same status as trespassing on a property. That is , the tree owner is responsible for it . As the consent of the owner of the tree is required on an application to trim or remove a tree which is overhanging please discuss the problem with your neighbour to try and resolve the situation. Where a neighbour will not co-operate you can contact a Community Justice Centre to arrange mediation or, if no result is achieved, the Local Court Magistrate.
Community Justice Centre: Mediation service for disputes of a non-criminal nature. General enquiries 9262-7844, Level 13, 227 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.
Local Court Chamber Magistrate: For advice or rights in local disputes (fences, trees). General enquiries 9517-2111.
Or Newtown Local Court 222 Australia Street, Newtown, 9577-4000.
Redfern Legal Centre: Assistance with legal issues. General enquiries 9698-7277.
Q What can we do about potholes in our street?
A. All potholes are to be reported to Council's Customer Service Counter on 9366-3666. When reporting a pothole, please have available the location and approximate distance from the nearest cross street for easier identification.
Council's work staff will carry out the repairs to any reported potholes that are located in the local roads. The repairs will occur as soon as practicable.
A pothole that is located in a state controlled road should be reported to the Roads and Traffic Authority on 131700.
Q. The footpath is damaged. Who will repair it?
A. Any damaged footpaths are to be reported to Council's Customer Service Counter on 9366-3666. When reporting a damaged footpath, please make available the location such as the property number or approximate distance from the nearest cross street for easier identification.
Council's work staff will carry out the repairs to the damaged footpath as soon as practicable.
Q. Cars are using our street as a short cut and speedway. How can we stop it?
A. Request for traffic calming measures in your street to alleviate speeding and through traffic problems shall be reported to the Manager of Engineering Service in writing. The Manager of Engineering Service's postal address is City of Botany Bay, PO Box 331, Mascot NSW 1460. Council Officers will investigate your concerns and the findings will be reported to the Local Traffic Committee for consideration. The Local Traffic Committee is a technical advisory committee with representatives from the Roads and Traffic Authority, the Police Service, the State Transit Authority, the local member for State Government and Council. Subsequently, the Manager - Engineering Services will inform you of the decision of the Local Traffic Committee in writing.
Q. Vandals have damaged the local bus shelter. Can we get it repaired?
A. Any damaged bus shelters are to be reported to Council's Customer Service Counter on 9366-3666. When reporting a damaged bus shelter, please have available the location for easier identification and the type of damage.
Council's work staff will carry out the repairs to the damaged bus shelter as soon as practicable.
Q. The Traffic lights are not working at the end of my street. Who should I report this to?
A. All traffic lights are installed, managed and maintained by the Roads and Traffic Authority. Accordingly, all traffic light fault reports should be directed to the Roads and Traffic Authority on 9211-3000 or 131700.
When reporting a traffic light fault, the Authority may require the intersection details and/or the traffic light identification number that appear on the control box adjoining to the faulty traffic light.
QUERIES ABOUT THESE OR OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE ON 9366-3666.