Council has approved a raft of economic relief options

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has today (29 April) approved a raft of economic relief options, including a $125 rate concession for the majority of rateable properties throughout the Region.

In addition to the rates concession, Mayor Paul Antonio said Council had agreed on some further options for the community, equating to more than $10.5 million in economic relief.

"The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life around the world and added a new set of challenges for governments, businesses, families and the entire community," Mayor Antonio said.

"We've never been through anything like this in our lifetime, and it's vital we respond accordingly, which is why we've approved these items today.

"We've had a thorough look at all our options, and we believe the package approved today will provide the most help to all of our residents.

"It's important to note, that this is a staged approach by Council, and we will continue to implement further initiatives as we move forward. These announcements will focus on accelerating capital works projects specifically designed to inject money into the local economy.

"We've also made sure Council's support initiatives are complementary to packages provided by the Federal and State Government. It's important we aren't duplicating support, but rather ensuring those who aren't already receiving assistance are given the help they need."

As part of the economic relief options, Council has approved the following measures:

  • Extend the Water Rates discount period from 12 May to 23 June 2020
  • Waive interest on overdue rates and charges calculated at 30 June 2020
  • Postpone the sale of land for overdue rates and charges for the 2020 calendar year
  • Extend animal registrations from 30 June to 30 September 2020
  • Provide a 100% rent relief package for small businesses that occupy Council-owned properties for the months of April, May and June
  • Refund 50% of the food licence fees for the 2019/20 financial year for fixed premises
  • Refund 50% of personal appearance retail licence fees for the 2019/20 financial year
  • Provide free parking (at Council's on and off-street parking) from 30 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 (time limits still apply and will be enforced by Council officers)
  • Waive credit card surcharges for all transactions at Council's Service Centres
  • Provide community groups, including sporting organisations, with grants for up to $499.

Those who are eligible to receive these benefits are not required to apply to gain the relief, except for the sporting/community grants. More information will be provided on the grants in the coming weeks.

Council will also provide financial support to the Jondaryan Woolshed.

TRC Finance and Business Strategy Committee chair Cr Geoff McDonald echoed the Mayor's comments, reiterating the importance of providing instant support to residents.

"It's about putting money into the pockets of our residents, in the form of a credit, as soon as possible, and this raft of options will benefit a large proportion of our population," Cr McDonald said.

"This means Council will have a deficit this financial year, but we're prepared to take that hit to ensure our residents receive much-needed assistance.

"We also fully understand this is not a one-off commitment from Council. As part of our annual Budget process, we will review all of the measures adopted today and consider any further relief options we can provide."

The economic relief options endorsed today come on the back of previous economic relief measures endorsed by Council which included:

  • Pause debt recovery for all outstanding rates and charges through to 30 June 2020. Council continues to offer payment arrangements and encourages contact if these need to be varied
  • Refund any fees or charges for forward bookings of Council facilities, where events have been cancelled
  • Only seek quotations from local businesses when procuring works and services up to the value of $200,000
  • Amend payment terms for local suppliers to be reduced from Council's regular term of 30 days (end of month) to 14 days.

 

 

For more detailed information on the economic relief package, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/coronavirusrelief or contact Council on 131 872.

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