A RANGE of measures to financially support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic were endorsed at last week’s MidCoast Council meeting, which also saw Councillors call on the Federal and State Governments to urgently deliver a comprehensive package of financial support and stimulus.
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Mayor David West made the call in a Mayoral Minute presented to yesterday’s livestreamed meeting, saying the support is required to allow local government to continue to operate effectively and provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minute was consistent in wording with the Local Government sector’s campaign, coordinated in NSW by Local Government NSW and at a national level by the Australian Local Government Association. It was supported unanimously by the eight councillors present at the meeting.
In putting the Mayoral Minute to his fellow Councillors, Mayor West said that “Council is doing everything possible to provide support and deliver the services needed to protect community health and keep our communities running during these difficult times.”
The Mayor also called on the NSW Government to fully fund pensioner rebates to assist in offsetting the impacts on Council rates and other revenues as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same meeting endorsed a range of mitigation measures Council has been able to put in place to support the community financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Providing opportunity for residents to enter into payment arrangements for their rates
• Deferral of rate payments for a period of time, for ratepayers or businesses impacted by COVID-19
• Businesses can now access hardship provisions for other charges such as annual food inspection accounts
• Not starting debt recovery procedures against ratepayers or businesses that are impacted by COVID-19
• Application process for hardship will be streamlined and phone assistance for residents provided
Council has also provided rent relief for tenants of Council owned and managed facilities, and food businesses that have temporarily closed will be able to defer future tradewaste servicing and inspection costs.
At the same meeting Councillors resolved to enter into negotiations with Peace of Mind Installation and Integration Pty Ltd, to fit out the audio visual element of the Biripi Way office.
A report to the meeting indicated that all tenders for the AV component were under the $1.4 million budget, which is funded separately to the construction project.