Council votes to support Port Stephens community through COVID-19 crisis Medowie, Ferodale, Campvale Nelson Bay (Tomaree Peninsula areas) Raymond Terrace, Heatherbrae, Tomago by News Of The Area - Modern Media - April 15, 2020April 28, 2020 Port Stephens Council has tonight voted in favour of a range of measures to support the community through the response, recovery and restart of Port Stephens economy. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] This includes urging State and Federal Governments to provide local government assistance to support essential Council services during the global pandemic. Council is asking for an increase to financial assistance from the Federal Government to help maintain essential functions and services as well as giving assistance to businesses and residents. Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer says the COVID-19 Recovery Response and COVID-19 Financial Support package will ensure Council operations and boost local economies. “We know that Port Stephens is already suffering the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and without additional assistance, Council may be forced to cut services, infrastructure projects, maintenance works and staff. “We’re doing everything possible to provide support and deliver services needed to protect community health and keep our communities running during these difficult times,” Mayor Palmer said. “However Council face increased costs and at the same time, we are experiencing declining revenue with business closures and more and more ratepayers forced into financial hardship. “It is critical that the local government sector receives adequate funding and resources to coordinate and deliver the services needed to navigate through and recover from, natural disasters and the new challenges presented by COVID-19 and its massive impacts on people and our local economies. “Council needs urgent financial assistance from the Federal Government and NSW State Government to maintain infrastructure, services and employment as well as funding to give Council the capacity to provide hardship assistance to the community,” Mayor Palmer said. Council will: · Make hardship support more accessible · Commit to local procurement through local businesses · Investigate with NSW Health and emergency services a review of access to boat ramps for locals only · Provide 1 extra kerbside collection for green waste · Review Council’s grants program, targeted to support our community’s response to COVID-19 · Reaffirm the Tourism and Business Support Fund · Investigate the expansion our eLibrary service · Review support for community services · Supporting NSW Government COVID-19 recommendations and initiatives · Investigate the use of Holiday Parks to support the most vulnerable in our community · Commit to the preparation of a full Community Response and Recovery Plan.