Online applications for Melbourne residents to maintain properties

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Melbourne residents who own properties in the Horsham Rural City Council can apply for a letter of approval to travel to clean up before fire season.

HRCC Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla welcomed the Victorian Government’s clarification of guidelines around Melbourne residents visiting Regional Victoria while COVID-19 restrictions were in place, after several weeks of confusion and concern for non-resident ratepayers.

“We can understand Melbourne residents’ concerns with the potential condition of their properties which they have been unable to visit,” Mr Bhalla said.

“There will be no charge for the approval letters, however there will be considerable cost and resources to Council to put the necessary system in place to take information, validate details against rates notices, and issue notices.

“There have been many challenges for Council to support our community, businesses and ratepayers through COVID19 restrictions and outbreaks, and the issuing of travel permission letters will be the next challenge to deliver,” he said.

Council received more than 100 calls this week requesting information from Melbourne residents about gaining permission to travel following the Premier’s announcement on Sunday.

To streamline the process, Council has developed an online form on its website for non-resident ratepayers to request a letter of approval.

“When the request is validated and approved, property owners will receive an email with the letter that they can show at check points, show businesses or local police if requested,” Mr Bhalla said.

“We suggest they also carry their rates notice or have it accessible from their phone.”

Anyone who does not have access to email or internet can call our customer assist line on 5382 9777 this week to provide details however ratepayers without access to emails will need to wait until they receive their letter by mail before they can travel.

Property owners who are unable to travel or are unable to carry out their own maintenance should arrange for local contractors to maintain their properties.

If you are unwell you must get tested and stay home – do not attend your secondary property even if you have a letter of approval.

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