Council held a special meeting this week to consider a number of measures to assist the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the online meeting Elected Members endorsed a multifaceted strategy focused on supporting the community under the key areas of ‘our people’, ‘our economy’ and ‘our recovery’.
In response to the unprecedented situation being faced by our city Council has taken swift action to introduce a broad strategy offering vital support to our people and economy now and into the future as we look towards the recovery phase.
– Mayor Lynette Martin OAM
A significant step towards supporting the economy was the endorsement of a series of rent waivers for a range of Council tenants.
“Elected members resolved to waive the equivalent of one year’s rent for all community and sporting tenants and to provide specific support to our tourism tenants in the first instance,” Mayor Martin said.
The measure also included the waiving of maintenance charges for sporting clubs and Council agreed to review any future tourism tenancy rent on a monthly basis from 1 July 2020 until the end of the current public health emergency.
“Council has a range of community, sporting, commercial and semi-commercial tenants that occupy facilities under varying rental arrangements and it is important that an equitable approach is taken when dealing with these,” Mayor Martin said.
Commercial tenants will also be supported with Council authorising rent waivers on a case-by-case basis upon application.
These measures are anticipated to have an impact on Council’s budget in the vicinity of $130,000.
In addition, Council are undertaking a detailed budget review and will offer support to ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship and finding it difficult to make rates payments.
“Those who may be struggling to make ends meet at present are encouraged to contact the Council’s rates officers to discuss their options,” CEO Andrew Meddle said.