Government promises $5 billion COVID funding following councils’ calls for support

NSW councils have welcomed this week’s State and Federal government’s announcement of a $5.1 billion COVID economic support package following calls from Local Government NSW (LGNSW) for urgent financial assistance for businesses and individuals during the latest lockdown.

LGNSW President Linda Scott called on NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian last week to provide an urgent support package for businesses and communities across NSW in a letter co-signed by more than 70 council mayors and general managers across the State.

“Local government is the first to feel the impact of the COVID lockdown on their communities, which is why we responded quickly with a call for financial support from our State and Federal colleagues,” Cr Scott said.

“I am pleased the Government responded to those calls so quickly.

“This latest outbreak of COVID threatens the locally led economic recovery councils have provided for their communities following a horrid 18 months of natural disasters.

“These efforts have not only expedited the recovery process but helped create thousands of brand-new local jobs.”

The new COVID-19 Fighting Fund, which includes $1 billion from the Commonwealth, will provide a range of grants to help businesses stay afloat during lockdown and support employees who have been impacted by reduced working hours.

“This latest funding announcement shows local government and State and Federal governments are all on the same page when it comes to protecting the people in our communities while doing all we can to keep our economy strong,” Cr Scott said.

“Over the past 15 months councils across NSW have gone to great lengths to support their local businesses, deep cleaning public spaces, waiving regulatory and inspection fees and offering millions in grant programs to support the health and economic recovery of their communities.

“I am greatly encouraged that the NSW and Federal governments have thrown their financial support behind council efforts to ensure NSW’s economic recovery continues.”

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