Mark Shelton,Minister for Local Government
Twenty Tasmanian local government authorities will share in $147 million worth of no interest loans over three years to encourage investment and employment in our local communities.
The loans will apply to upgrades, renovations and maintenance on existing local government infrastructure, as well as other measures councils are taking to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This line of finance to the local government sector will help to stimulate local economies and give us the best shot at recovering from COVID-19.
As we move into the recovery phase of this crisis, it is imperative that we sensibly balance a reboot and rebuild of our economy, while mitigating the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infection.
I am confident the loan scheme will have a positive impact on communities across the state, and indeed our local economies and employment.
More than $33.8 million will be spent through councils in the North-West of the state, $32.5 million in the North; and $80.5 million in the South.
Across the projects which will receive a loan:
- $59.3 million will be for property improvements;
- $46.2 million for road, bridge and jetty improvements;
- $16.5 million for rates relief;
- $15.4 million to fund cash flow shortfalls and other operation initiatives; and
- $9.4 million for stormwater improvement.
All Tasmanian councils and joint authorities are eligible for the loan program, which will remain open on a rolling basis until 1 August 2020.
We know that Tasmania’s local councils play a crucial role in serving our local communities, and have an important role to play in our response to COVID-19.
I would like to thank all those Tasmanian councils that have stepped up to the challenges of COVID-19 to support our local businesses and communities through rate increase freezes, generous hardship policies, grants programs and a range of other relief measures.
The Tasmanian Government will continue to work collaboratively and supportively with the local government sector as we look to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.