Financial Hardship Co-ordinator established
Horsham Rural City Council has established a Financial Hardship Co-ordinator to help residents who are doing it tough during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Visitor Information Centre Team Leader Andrea Hogan has been redeployed into the role and will be the first point of contact for any person who needs more time settle Council rates and other charges.
Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla said Council was expecting a significant increase in people reaching out for help.
“I think we’re going to be in a difficult period for quite some time,” Mr Bhalla said.
“That includes everyone from residents, businesses, community and sporting groups and Council itself is facing financial challenges as well.
“We understand that Council has an obligation to help take some of the pressure off our community and we want to make it clear that we will not be adding unnecessary monetary pressure on people.
People experiencing hardship will have the option of establishing an interest-free payment plan.
Each case will be assessed on individual circumstances with outcomes customised according to the need of each case.
“Right now there are many issues that are causing great stress to everyone in the community and, rather than adding to the pressure, we want people to come and talk to us if they are struggling to pay their bills.
“It’s going to be very important for our community to do that,” he said.
Businesses will also have access to hardship assistance and other operating costs such as footpath trading permit fees and registration charges will be reduced.
“We need to look out for each other to make sure we come through this as unscathed as possible,” Mr Bhalla said.
“We need to show compassion and understanding for those who have lost their jobs and the wonderful small business owners and operators we have in our municipality.”
The Civic Centre’s reception area is closed however customers can access services by:
- Submitting a request online and selecting the Finance option
- Calling 5382 9777 from Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm