Financial hardship measures introduced by the McGowan Government to protect Western Australian ratepayers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be extended.
New powers exercised under the Local Government Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Act 2020 (Amendment Act) in May last year meant that residential and small business ratepayers experiencing financial hardship would not be charged interest on overdue rates.
Due to the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic, the McGowan Government will continue the measures into the 2021-22 financial year.
The Amendment Act, gazetted in April 2020, enables the Local Government Minister to modify or suspend provisions of the Local Government Act 1995 and regulations during the State of Emergency.
Since then, the Local Government (COVID-19 Response) Order 2020 has assisted all WA ratepayers by reducing the maximum interest rate payable to local governments.
It has also helped local governments through removing red tape not considered to be necessary during the State of Emergency.
Residential and small business ratepayers need to demonstrate hardship to their local government to qualify for the exemption from interest on overdue rates.
As stated by Local Government Minister John Carey:
“By extending measures introduced last year, the McGowan Government continues to provide much needed assistance to WA ratepayers facing financial hardship.
“Whilst our economy is strong, we know not everyone is back on their feet, and measures such as this, and our $30 million Residential Rent Relief Grant Scheme, will provide financial support to those that need it most in our community.”