Mareeba Shire Council has announced a response package following the economic impact Coronavirus has had on the Shire.
Council today adopted a range of initiatives to help re-boot the local economy.
“While the full impact of COVID-19 will not be known for some time, Council has responded to the pandemic with an assistance package of up to $1.1 million,” Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said.
“Council recognises that due to Coronavirus and the restrictions imposed by the Federal and State Governments to minimise the spread the virus has caused financial hardship for many residents, business owners and clubs across our Shire.
“The measures will hopefully provide short-term relief for residents, sporting clubs, community organisations and business owners,” Cr Toppin said.
The COVID-19 response package includes:
- Rate remission for Council approved not-for-profit community, recreation and sporting groups based on the level of commerciality of the group
- Rent relief for the Mareeba Leagues Club until such time restrictions are lifted and the Club can resume trading
- Extended payment arrangements for ratepayers
- Reduction of interest rate for overdue rates for those suffering financial hardship
- Legal action for overdue rates suspended
- Deferred repayments of existing community loans
- Food licenses extended at no charge until 30 September 2020
- Goods on footpaths permits extended at no charge until 30 September 2020
- Aged Housing rent increases deferred until September 2020
- Consideration of a possible COVID-19 rebate for general rates in the forthcoming budget
- Council wage freeze
“I know that many people in the community are doing it tough and we are not out of the woods yet,” Cr Toppin said.
“Council is limited to the level of financial assistance it can offer; however, we are making allowances wherever possible to ease the financial burden on ratepayers.”
Further considerations will be made as part of the 2020–21 budget.