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Council announces initial support measures

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Find out about Council's initial relief measures to support community members and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council has announced some initial relief measures to help the community and local businesses manage some of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillors have agreed the following initiatives can be implemented straight away to help reduce the financial burden:

• Provide ratepayers with a one month extension on the due date for the fourth rates instalment, to June 30 2020.

• Establish a Council COVID-19 financial hardship policy including provision for the development of payment plans and consideration of interest waivers on overdue rate payments – for eligible ratepayers that can demonstrate hardship as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

• Put a temporary hold on following up unpaid animal registrations (due mid-April).

• Pay all suppliers as quickly as possible in weekly payment schedules, regardless of payment terms.

• A reduction of commercial rents in Council-owned buildings until 30 June 2020, for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19. Assessments will be on a case by case basis.

It is important residents ensure their pet is registered by the due date of 10 April. However, registration fees can be made until 30 June 2020.

Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Christine Henderson said there will be more support measures to come.

“Councillors recognise the pandemic has been a huge disruption to our lives and people are feeling the burden in many ways,” said Mayor Henderson.

“We will continue to work with the CEO and staff to develop the support package and work through other options to reduce financial pressures in the medium to long-term,” she said.

“The measures we are putting in place aim to provide some initial relief while supporting the larger contributions of the state and federal governments.

“We encourage everyone to make the most of the stimulus and support packages announced by other tiers of government to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 and keep the economy going.

“At the same time, Council staff are supporting local businesses during this transition, and are liaising with people across the many sectors to work out what kind of support we can provide.

“Our aim is to keep as many essential services running, and support and connect our community to ensure it will thrive when we come out the other side,” she said.

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