Community and business support packages endorsed by Council
Published on 21 April 2020
Maribyrnong City Council has tonight endorsed comprehensive packages that provide up to $6.5 million in support across a range of programs and initiatives, to assist residents and businesses affected by COVID-19.
City of Maribyrnong Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, said that while Federal and State governments have released substantial relief packages, Council also needs to play a role in this relief and recovery.
“We know that many of our residents and local businesses are feeling the effects of COVID-19, and it is important that we work towards getting individuals and organisations through this crisis to give them the best chance at recovery. This is why we have put together comprehensive support packages for businesses and residents,” Cr Carter said.
The community support package includes payment deferrals for the next two quarterly rate payments (May and September) upon application. Pet registration fees will be waived/reimbursed for affected residents, and central registration system fees will be waived for 2020, from 1 April. Other initiatives include expansion of the immunisation program, plus a book delivery service to library members.
“We also want to make sure that our local arts community is supported during this time. We have a number of initiatives, including grants (upon application) for not-for-profit community arts organisations and Maribyrnong based arts practitioners, along with rental subsidies” Cr Carter continued.
To support not-for-profit community sporting clubs, all lease, licence and ground fees will be waived until 31 December 2020, and utility and water fees will be waived until 30 September.
The business support package includes payment deferrals for the next two quarterly rate payments (May and September) for eligible commercial businesses, and the next quarterly rate payment (May) will be discounted by 50 per cent.
“We want to make it easier for new businesses to start up during this time, so we are waiving a range of planning application fees for small businesses starting up before 30 September 2020,” Cr Carter said.
Council is also providing business support through a range of Business Crisis Support resources, including webinars, emails and videos.
Cr Carter said: “On top of the support packages, we have developed a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy to assist those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. This will allow all ratepayers experiencing financial hardship to apply for an interest free payment plan or to defer their rates without penalty interest for a period up until 30 June 2021.”
“We are in an environment that none of us have ever been in before, but with these packages, we hope to support those in our community who are feeling the strain of this pandemic,” Cr Carter continued.
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