Media Release - COVID-19 Community Recovery & Care Package
Posted on April 28, 2020
COVID-19 PANDEMIC: COUNCIL APPROVES COMMUNITY RECOVERY AND CARE PACKAGE
During the last few weeks, we have taken several steps and precautions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This has included closing a number of our Council managed and owned facilities, closing our Council offices and depots to the public, and reducing access to some of our public facilities (including public toilets and playgrounds), in accordance with advice issued by the Tasmanian Government.
Council at its 27 April 2020 Council Meeting unanimously resolved to support and endorse a Community Recovery and Care Package aimed at reducing the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes supporting the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) COVID‐19 Community Recovery Package.
The package includes the following:
- Council model its budget on a 0% increase in the General Rate in the dollar of AAV.
- A remission of the general rates for a period of four (4) months (1st instalment for 2020/21) for the Commercial and Sport and Recreation general rates categories (exclusions apply).
- After 1st April no interest be imposed on the current rates outstanding and no outstanding rates and charges or accounts be referred for legal recovery until 30th September 2020.
- A lease holiday be granted for sporting clubs/community groups and tenants using Council sporting/ recreation facilities and premises for the period 1 April 2020 until 30th September 2020.
- Adoption of the LGAT Financial Hardship Assistance Model Policy.
- Accounts owing by Clubs/Organisations to the Council to be held over until the 30th September 2020.
- Expansion of the Special Event annual grant allocation to $75,000 to help organisations recover from the cost of cancelled events and also to assist with the delivery of new community events during the recovery phase.
- Working with aged care services and disability service providers to identify any opportunities to assist or reduce the feelings of social isolation amongst their people.
- Settling of creditor invoices within a maximum of 10 days or sooner.
- Suspension of any increase for 2020/21 in planning, building fees and a fee holiday for health licensing fees for a period of 6 months (incl Food Business Registrations, public health risk activities, on‐street dining, Food vendors – mobile vans).
Council is also considering introducing a community grant program to help support business innovation which would include a focus on the development of digital capability (i.e. on‐line services) or anything that will help businesses implement a solution to help them keep doing business.
The overall cost of the COVID-19 Community Recovery and Care Package is estimated at $1.1 million.
The situation is changing daily, and we are continuously monitoring it to ensure that we can provide a safe community for everyone within the Northern Midlands.
From myself, my fellow Councillors, management and staff we thank you for your continued support and cooperation with this matter.
Mary Knowles OAM
For further information, please contact Mayor Mary Knowles OAM on 0408 766 625.