Revenue collected from the Metropolitan Improvement Rate, commonly known as the parks charge, is paid into the Parks and Reserves Trust Account (PRTA).
Allocations from the PRTA primarily support Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Shrine of Remembrance in delivering on core obligations relating to the access, safety, utility and environmental quality of their managed estates. This PRTA funding ensures that our world-class network of large urban parks and trails is maintained and staffed for the enjoyment of future generations.
Where is the PRTA’s revenue and expenditure information published?
Information on the parks charge and PRTA is reported in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) annual report. A summary of PRTA revenue and expenditure over the past 3 financial years is in the table below:
The total amount collected from parks charge revenue
Total amount spent on the control and management of open spaces, parks and waterways
PRTA’s closing cash balance
What recent strategic projects has PRTA funded?
In addition to the core operational funding to key entities, the following projects were funded from the PRTA during the 2021-22 financial year.
Name of entity or program
Healesville Sanctuary Prospectus – Platypus Conservation Centre
Werribee Mansion - Fire service upgrade
Shoreham Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management
Collingwood Children’s Farm Committee of Management Inc.
Community Gardens project
State Baseball and Softball Centre Altona Management Inc.
Crib Point Stony Point Foreshore Committee of Management
Upper Yarra River Frontages Reserve Committee of Management
Illegal dumping clean-up works within the PRTA Boundary
Deer management in peri-urban Melbourne and joint management in metropolitan Melbourne
Werribee Open Range Zoo Expansion project
Enhancing Raptor Rehabilitation Centre at Healesville Sanctuary
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Critical asset works at Melbourne Gardens
Enhancing the functionality of the Land Use Activity Portal
Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust
What is the parks charge?
The parks charge is an annual levy on commercial, industrial and residential properties in the metropolitan Melbourne area (as specified by Order of the Governor in Council and published in the Victorian Government Gazette).
The retail metropolitan water corporations bill and collect the parks charge on behalf of the Minister for Environment and Climate Action. The levy appears as a separate annual charge on the first quarter water bill of the financial year. The parks charge has been included on the water, sewerage and drainage bills for residential and commercial properties since 1958.
The parks charge is levied on the Net Annual Value (NAV) of the land. For 2022-23, the parks charge rate is 0.486% of NAV with a minimum annual charge of $81.60.
What activities are funded through the parks charge revenue?
The Water Industry Act 1994 provides for the disbursement of PRTA funds for the following purposes:
- Management and control of open space, parks and waterways, within the metropolitan area, for the purposes of conservation, recreation, leisure, tourism and navigation.
- Acquisition of land by the Crown in the metropolitan area for the purpose of conservation, recreation, leisure or tourism.
During the 2021-22 financial year, a total of $2195.074 million was disbursed from the PRTA for:
- Park, waterway and bay management in the metropolitan area (including maintenance and asset construction) at national and state parks, zoological parks, state gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, and Committees of Management
- Purchase of public open space for conservation, recreation, leisure or tourism
- Management and maintenance of public beaches and renourishment works.
How is the PRTA governed?
The Water Industry Act 1994 provides for the Minister for Environment and Climate Action to approve allocations from the PRTA on the determination of the Secretary DELWP. The Minister and Secretary are supported by the PRTA Governance Committee.
Page last updated: 24/10/22