Council offers 'token gesture' to struggling local businesses

At its most recent meeting, council discussed a small way it could help local businesses during this uncertain time.

The mayor recommended that a six-month rebate on water and sewerage access charges be given to any local businesses which have been forced to close because of the pandemic.

This relief measure would amount to around $20,000 in total according to the business papers.

"It seems inevitable that the COVID-19 pandemic will produce a global recession, including a recession in Australia. The scope available to a small regional council to financially support its local business community is limited but this council should make a contribution to our economic recovery just as other governments and organisations have been called upon to do,"Mayor Rhonda Hoban said.

"We have very limited capacity in financial means to help. Our general fund is quite tight, having recently given assistance to our bushfire survivors.

This is a small token gesture to say we value and want to support our small businesses.

Cr Susan Jenvey was worried council might be "jumping the gun", by using its limited funds now when the scale and impact of the crisis in our Valley is not yet known.

Nevertheless, the motion was passed as follows:

That Council advertise a proposal to provide a 6 month rebate on water and sewerage access charges to those businesses and activities which have been the subject of a public health order to close being:

  • Pubs
  • Registered clubs
  • Gyms, indoor sporting venues (this includes indoor dance classes)
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues
  • Casinos and nightclubs
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship
  • Amusement parks and arcades Indoor and outdoor play centres
  • Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, saunas etc
  • Public swimming pools
  • Galleries, museums, historic sites, libraries, community centres
  • Auction houses
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections
  • Beauty, tanning, nail salons, tattoo parlours

Also in the news