Manningham Council announces $3.8M COVID-19 Community Relief Package

28 Apr 2020
Well Governed Council

Tonight Manningham Council endorsed a package of relief measures to ease the financial burden on residents and businesses affected by COVID-19.

Council’s relief package will assist those most in need and balance short term relief with the longer term services and infrastructure needs of the Manningham community.

Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish said Council recognised that many in the community were facing long term financial hardship.

"Manningham Council has actively supported the public health measures necessary to successfully reduce the spread of COVID-19, and thanks our community for their response to date. Council is fully aware of the impact this is having on many in our community from a health, wellbeing and financial perspective.”

“The COVID-19 Community Relief Package endorsed tonight includes measures for ratepayers, older residents, local businesses and community groups.”

Cr McLeish said while Council was asking residents who could still pay their rates to do so, it also recognised this was difficult for some in our community. “Many people in our community have recently lost their jobs or are experiencing a significant impact on their home finances and may not be in a position to pay their rates now.”

“We want our community to know we are there for them and we hope the package will make things a little easier.”

“This $3.8M package provides direct relief to vulnerable sections of our community. We have approved a mixture of cost relief measures for those in hardship and extra funding for community support services.

“We remain committed to ensuring essential services including waste collection, maintenance of parks and gardens, home care for our elderly, meals on wheels, maternal and child health and immunisations continue to be delivered. We’ll also continue the maintenance of community infrastructure and deliver high priority capital works projects such as roads, footpaths and upgrading of sporting facilities, playgrounds and parks.”

Also on the Agenda tonight was a review of Councillor allowances. The decision by the Local Government Minister back in December 2019 to upgrade Manningham to Category 3 meant that Council was permitted to review the level of their allowances. Tonight Council unanimously resolved to delay any decision on this item until December 2020.

“We know our community is doing it tough and now is not the time to make decisions on Councillor allowances. Our primary focus is on supporting Manningham through this crisis and the delivery of our COVID-19 Community Relief Package.”

In addition to the Community Relief Package, a new seven day a week Community Connect phone service has been established and residents in need of support are encouraged to contact Council on 9840 9333.

“The majority of our Council services are continuing to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and we encourage community members to contact us via phone or email,” Cr McLeish said.

The COVID-19 Community Relief Package includes:

  • Fourth quarter rate payment extension of due date to 30 June 2020, without incurring any penalty interest. Special payment arrangements available for those qualifying for Council’s financial hardship relief
  • An increase in the rate rebate for Low Income Health Care Card Holders in2020/21
  • No increase on waste disposal charges in 2020/21
  • Introduction of a $1M COVID-19 Community Relief Fund
  • Introduction of a COVID-19 Local Business Development Program
  • Rent and lease relief, and utility subsidies, for clubs and community groups who use Council facilities
  • 50% discounts on footpath trading permits, trader parking permits and food and health premises registration in 2020/21
  • Additional support to older residents