COVID-19 support package a key feature of Council’s draft Budget

Published on 24 April 2020

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A COVID-19 support package of more than $2 million is a feature item on the agenda at the Surf Coast Shire Council’s Special Council meeting on Tuesday 28 April.

Next Tuesday’s meeting will also feature Council’s Draft Budget 2020-21 which will be considered for adoption for a four week exhibition period to allow the community to review the proposed budget and make submissions.

A total of $1,768,000 for COVID-19 support is included in the draft budget in the 2020-21 year with $400,000 already earmarked for the current financial year.

The proposed support package includes the following initiatives for 2020-21:

• $1 million to help businesses and communities to re-establish and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

• $195,000 of support for people experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, by waiving of interest on outstanding rates and debts.

• $250,000 of rate relief in the form of a rebate for commercial and industrial ratepayers to support economic recovery across the shire.

• $323,000 of support for food, hospitality and accommodation businesses, by waiving of fees for food, health and caravan park registrations as well as Shopfront ‘Street’ Trading permits (including A-frame and alfresco dining permits).

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The support package includes a draft COVID-19 Hardship Policy with payment plans that allow for increased flexibility for ratepayers experiencing hardship from the impacts of the pandemic.

The support package also highlights the newly established Community and Economic Support Teams, created to work directly with communities and businesses as they undertake local relief and recovery efforts.

The COVID-19 support package will be considered along with the Draft Budget 2020-21 at the upcoming Special Council Meeting, to be held at 1pm on Tuesday 28 April. While the meeting is open to the public, Council has been encouraging people not to attend but instead listen to an audio recording of the meeting, reinforcing the Premier’s message to stay at home and stay safe.

If Council endorses the Draft Budget 2020-21 for exhibition, a submissions process will be open from Wednesday 29 April until midday Thursday 28 May.

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