Council rates relief for bushfire victims extended for another six months

Deputy Premier, Minister for Local Government

The NSW Government is continuing to support victims of the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, announcing $2.5 million to fund another six months of council rate relief for those who lost their main properties.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the NSW Government is committed to continuing to help our local communities recover from the devastating bushfires.

“I am pleased to announce council rate relief has been extended for a further six months for people whose main property was significantly damaged or destroyed by bushfires, if it has not yet been rebuilt or changed ownership,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This financial support for property owners is in addition to the NSW Government footing the bill for the initial bushfire clean-up with more than 3,600 properties cleared across the state.”

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the extension comes after more than $5.4 million in council rate relief has already been provided to over 3,300 property owners to reduce the financial burden on bushfire victims as they rebuild their lives.

“In February 2020, the NSW Government announced it was funding six months of council rate relief for owners of homes, farms and businesses whose properties suffered damage beyond repair in the bushfires,” Mrs Hancock said.

“Then in June last year, we announced a further six months of rate relief for eligible property owners to ensure they can direct more of their finances towards rebuilding.”

Member for Bega Andrew Constance said funding has been paid directly to 34 local councils which means eligible ratepayers don’t have to pay anything and it does not cost local government anything to support these property owners.

“Our north and south coasts suffered terribly during the 2019-20 bushfires and I am pleased to say that these areas have received significant council rate relief,” Mr Constance said.

“As the local member of two of the hardest hit regions, I know that the additional support will be welcomed across our region and will further assist in taking pressure off residents as they rebuild their lives.

Mrs Hancock said the additional rate relief will cover the second half of the 2020-21 rates period, recognising that some owners are still in the process of recovering and rebuilding their properties.

“We’re encouraged by the positive feedback and response we’ve had to helping NSW property owners affected by the 2019-20 bushfires, so much so that we’re considering an additional six months of relief.”

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