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Council offers financial relief for ratepayers, community organisations and businesses

Published: 18 August 2020

Cardinia Shire Council has released the next phase of its package to support Cardinia Shire community members and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase 4 of Council’s $1.6 million Community and Business Support Package features specific measures to reduce financial pressures on ratepayers, community groups, sporting clubs and businesses, including:  

Support for ratepayers

  • A further extension to the interest-free period for unpaid rates payments until 31 March 2021.  
  • Continuation of hardship provisions and payment plans for 20-21 rates.
  • Continuation of rebate for health care card holders and/or people receiving JobSeeker payments.

Support for sporting clubs and reserves

  • Waiver of tenancy fees for six months on all Council-owned and managed sporting facilities.
  • Financial support for sporting club and recreation reserve committees of management having trouble paying utility bills, plus a temporary freeze on all debt repayments.   

Support for community groups  

  • A support payment to all neighbourhood houses, senior citizen’s centres, U3As, and to Emerald Museum.
  • Emergency rent waivers for eligible tenants of Council-owned buildings.
  • Financial support for community halls.
  • Hire fee waivers for community and not-for-profit users of Council’s integrated child and family centres.

Support for businesses

  • A full refund of all 2020 Food Act and Public Health and Wellbeing Act registration fees.
  • A full refund of 2020-21 street trading permit fees.  

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Jeff Springfield said Council hoped the measures would provide welcome relief to ratepayers, community groups and businesses struggling with the significant impacts of the pandemic.

“With Stage 4 restrictions now in place and many businesses having to close or restrict their operations as a result, there are many people in our community doing it really tough 
right now. As a community, we’re in circumstances we never could have anticipated.
 
“Council wants to help reduce that financial pressure and we hope these Phase 4 measures will help  to do that,” Cr Springfield said. 
 
Council has a range of support measures available to those under financial pressure at this time. 
 
“For ratepayers struggling to meet their rates payments, the extension of the interest free period until the end of 2020 will provide some relief. With the Victorian Government having provided 
relief measures for landlords and tenants, we wanted to offer some respite for our ratepayers, too.  
 
“If you’re having difficulty paying your rates, please contact us. 
 
“The Phase 4 measures also acknowledge the big challenges that our business operators and committees of management are facing right now," Cr Springfield said. 
 
“Our community groups and organisations, sporting clubs and businesses are the lifeblood of our community. This package recognises their importance – I have no doubt there are many people 
across our shire who are looking forward to running out on to the field again, meeting face-to-face with fellow community group members, or dining at a local eatery.  
 
“We hope that the support measures will provide some relief and peace of mind during these difficult times.”