Shire extends its Hardship Policy through to end of year

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The Mornington Peninsula Shire has extended its hardship policy through to 31 December 2020.

The extension of the policy which was adopted in May is available to all rateable properties and sundry debtors on application and includes no interest on any outstanding balances for the remainder of 2020. .

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Cr Sam Hearn said we are aware that many people in our community are facing significant financial hardship due to the current Covid -19 restrictions and this action has been taken to give them the support they need from the Council.

“I would encourage any community member or business operator experiencing financial difficulty to contact our rates and billing team to discuss your situation to determine if you’re eligible to receive hardship support”.

“People who are currently receiving job keeper, job seeker or other assistance payments may also be eligible. Council will assess applications on a case by case basis”.

Council adopted its 20/21 budget on 18 August with a commitment to support the community during this difficult time and with a view to achieving economic and social recovery for the Peninsula.

The budget includes a raft of community and support initiatives for the financial year:

  • Waiving all non-commercial sporting club lease/licence fees for 20/21.
  • Ongoing support to organisations that lease council facilities on commercial terms via lease payment waivers or deferrals.
  • As part of our business support package we continue to provide financial relief for footpath trading and licence fees with fee waivers up to 31 December.
  • Bathing Box fees have been standardised and reduced.
  • The ongoing monitoring and review of our financial hardship policy, providing flexible payment arrangements for people and businesses in our community who have a significant reduction in financial capacity due to COVID-19.
  • Significant council resources will continue to be allocated to our ‘Caring for our Community’ program which includes delivering care packages to vulnerable and isolated community members
  • We continue to advocate to state and federal governments for additional funding to match the Shire’s contribution and support a suite of shovel ready projects to kick start our economy.

These initiatives were made possible through $3million in operational savings in the first half of 2020, a further reduction of $6.4 million in income for this new financial year and no wage increases for staff.

Mayor Hearn concluded, “importantly we continue to deliver close to the lowest average rates and charges in Victoria with no reduction in services for the community”.

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