Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond tonight announced a City of Perth Relief and Rebound Plan, to provide support for businesses, ratepayers and visitors, in the wake of COVID-19.
Cmr Hammond, acknowledged the economic and social impacts that the crisis is having across the City and pledged support for all those affected.
“We know our community is suffering economically and socially. As a City, we are here to help you, now and in the future.
“We are going to do our very best to help as much as we can. The Commissioners are aware of this and so are our staff. We ask the community to reach out to us for assistance and we hope the following actions will provide relief in the short term.”
The plan aims to provide short term relief to the CBD, and includes the following key actions:
- Free up to one-hour on-street parking across the CBD for the next three months to support local business
- A freeze in increases in municipal rates and charges, including sanitation and waste charges
- No fees and charges relating to inspection services for small business for the next three months
- Suspension of lease and rental payments for three months to all City of Perth tenants leasing City-owned property, including the relinquishment of bank guarantees
- An express planning service for change of land use and development applications for small business with no application fee
- Accelerated capital works projects and major city maintenance programs
- A full refund on all cancelled bookings at City properties or facilities
- Shorter payment terms for creditors, reduced from 30 days to 15 days
- Debtors experiencing hardship will receive a range of options to assist in payment
The Commissioners have now also confirmed their meetings will be conducted via teleconference for the foreseeable future, to adhere to social distancing requirements.
“Commissioners and the Administration have had long discussions around the strategies we will take in order to respond to this crisis,” Cmr Hammond said.
“In order to fund what will be significant operating deficit over the next one to two years, the City will focus on essential services and adjust our service delivery capacity accordingly. In doing so we will make use of savings in recurrent expenditure, long term borrowings and reserve funds.”
Cmr Hammond also confirmed that the City is currently working on a long-term stimulation package to assist the CBD in recovering from this crisis.
All of these initiatives are subject to ratification at next Tuesday’s Council Meeting but will be implemented immediately.