Snowy Monaro Regional Council resolved to endorse a motion to resume its regular debt recovery practices after pausing these activities for the past two years due to the impact of widespread drought, bushfire, and pandemic related hardship in the region.
All debt recovery was originally suspended in response to the black summer bushfires to grant relief to residents and ratepayers. This suspension was then extended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented effects on residents and businesses. Council’s suspension of collections also saw interest accrual on debts owed paused for some of this time. That interest free period has now ended and normal interest is accruing on outstanding amounts.
During the discussion at Council’s meeting, Councillors speaking in support of the motion raised the budget deficit, the improving economic outlook, and the unfairness to ratepayers and residents who do pay their bills as reasons to lift this broad suspension.
Councillors wanted to stress that the resumption of debt recovery practices is not a new or more aggressive debt recovery strategy, but only a return to the normal operating procedure of Council, and Councils across the state of New South Wales.
Debt recovery has now resumed across the Snowy Monaro and will impact all ratepayers with outstanding balances.
Council reminds residents and ratepayers that this return to normal debt recovery activities does not change the current hardship policy and Council will work with those with outstanding rates to help them get back on track. If anyone with a debt owing to Council is experiencing financial hardship, for any reason, they can contact the Council on 1300 345 345 and ask for the rates department or visit any Council office to discuss their options in person.