Logan City Council has announced a relief package today to help struggling residents and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Interim Administrator Tamara O'Shea outlined the first phase of the package at a specially convened council meeting this morning
It includes immediate assistance for rate payers, suspending debt recovery measures and prioritising procurement for local business operators.
Ms O'Shea says the assistance to help those suffering hardship due to COVID-19 is incredibly important at this time:
"I have to say given the uncertainty and the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic and the potential affects on the timeliness of the local government election results.
I thought it was really critical to deliver, which is really a first trance of relief measures, as soon as possible for the sake of city residents and businesses to give them relief in the short term".
Other key components of the support plan include:
- An additional interest free period is in place for the April – June quarter rates and charges notice (to September 30).
- Council's existing hardship arrangements for residential property owners will be extended to all ratepayers.
- Council will cut its invoice payment time by half with14-day payments to contractors.
- A 50 per cent refund for operational (licence) fees paid since July last year for nearly 1300 businesses including hospitality and food operators, hotels and motels, manufacturers and a range of other businesses.
- Fees will be waived for any new applications received up until August 31 this year.
- Three months of lease fees will be waived to external operators engaged to manage Council-owned venues.
- Annual lease fees for not-for-profit organisations who lease a Council community leased facility will be waived for 2020.
- Organisations operating from a Council community leased facility (and have none or less than 15 gaming machines), will have their existing levels of Council remissions increased to 100 per cent for the January to March 2020 billing period (billed in April 2020).
- Financial relief for more than 180 sport, recreation and community organisations within Logan that have memberships in excess of 40,000 people, through lease fee waivers.
- Future initiatives will be investigated and considered as part of Council’s 2020/21 Budget processes.
It's understood the council has also redirected $200,000 from the Community Project Grants budget into an Emergency Relief Fund and has set up a support team to respond to the emerging needs of the business community during the crisis.