The Greater Geelong council has endorsed a
further $1.5 million in support measures and agreed to a special COVID-19
Financial Hardship Policy, as it continues its efforts to help businesses,
community groups and residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest measures add to the $3.4 million package announced in March and
largely focus on providing immediate support.
The financial hardship policy will give businesses and residents who pay rates,
rent, fees and/or charges to the City and are facing tough times as a result of
the pandemic the ability to apply to:
their payments for a mutually agreed period; and
a payment plan for rates that suits their individual circumstances.
The new policy also confirms that the City has stopped referring outstanding
debts for debt collection and is waiving interest on all debts from 14 March
until 31 October 2020.
Councillors highlighted that the policy includes the following opportunities:
- Waiver of penalties for late payment of pet registration fees and the
option to enter a payment plan;
- The City’s commercial waste customers can suspend, cancel or amend their
collection service without penalty; and
- Event organisers can be refunded any associated fees or charges paid to
the City where the event was cancelled or closed due to government COVID-19 directions.