Toowoomba Regional Council extends drought assistance

The Toowoomba Region continues to be affected by dry conditions and as such Council will extend its assistance of financial relief.

The decision was moved this week at the Ordinary Meeting of Council, with Councillors voting unanimously in favour of the motion.

Toowoomba Regional Council Finance and Business Strategy Committee Chair Cr Mike Williams said the decision would provide much-needed respite to residents who have been experiencing hardship.

“We introduced this form of relief one year ago hoping that conditions would improve throughout our region,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there has been no respite from the drought and our community has been severely impacted by the lack of rain.

“The drought has placed significant financial and emotional pressures on our communities and Council had no hesitation in extending this form of financial relief.

“Council will defer the payment of the Rate Notice and the Water Rate Notice issued during the first half of the 2019/20 financial year until the second Rate Notice.

“By making this decision we’re also ensuring that residents who have been drought-affected are still able to receive their discount which normally only applies when your Rate Notice is paid within the first 31 days.

“Any ratepayer who owns a drought-affected property in the TRC area, and is able to demonstrate eligibility for the Australian Government Farm Household Allowance as a direct result of the drought, will be eligible for the deferment of payments from Council.”

In the 2018/19 financial year Toowoomba Regional Council received 150 applications for deferments.

Residents who find that deferment has resulted in an accumulation of debt which has placed an additional burden and strain of their financial management situation, are encouraged to make a separate application to Council for the purposes of pursuing individual payment arrangements in accordance with Council’s adopted policy and established procedures.

Residents who are unsure whether they are eligible, should contact Council on 131 872.