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Published Friday 3 April 2020
Tags:Media Release, COVID-19

Hardship options available through COVID-19

Mitchell Shire Council is encouraging community members to access new hardship support options if they are unable to pay their fourth instalment rate notices due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The notices will be sent out shortly with instalments due by 31 May. Council is aware that the ability for some community members and businesses to pay rates has been significantly diminished due to COVID-19.

People can apply for a payment extension to the end of June and further arrangements can be discussed on a case by case basis. Council is also waiving interest charges on overdue accounts until 30 June 2020 and can provide options for people who are already on payment plans.

In addition to these immediate support measures, Council is advocating to the State and Federal governments to help support the community and the delivery of essential services provided by local government.

In the light of the essential role that local Government plays in delivering a whole range of essential services Council is in discussions with Local Members of Parliament seeking some increased Government assistance.

The critical services the Council deliver are vital for the health and safety of the whole community - particularly the aged and vulnerable as well as the health of our business community.

Mitchell ratepayers are also encouraged to sign up for online rates notices. Making the switch is easy and can be done online with the rates notice reference number.

Please call 5734 6200 during business hours to request a copy of a rate notice, to register for electronic delivery, to activate hardship arrangements or to update a payment plan.

Also, under discussion is Council’s 2020/21 Budget. As part of Council’s budget preparation process, which was well underway prior to COVID-19, a draft budget has been released for community input.

Council is seeking advice from the State Government about this legal requirement, as the budget will change significantly because of the COVID-19 impacts. Ratepayers and other community members are still encouraged to provide input to the draft budget at Engaging Mitchell. Hard copy submissions can also be made. Submissions close on Wednesday 22 April. For details on how, please call 03 5734 6200.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor David Lowe

“We understand the situation is causing financial stress. We want everyone to know there are options for them and that we will provide hardship support to anyone who needs it,” he said.

“Looking ahead beyond the fourth instalment notice, we are advocating to the State and Federal Governments to provide extra support to help councils continue to deliver essential services for communities and businesses, to continue to provide local jobs and to support the ongoing recovery effort.”

This page was last updated on 21 May 2020.