Message from Chief Administrator Noel Harvey re: Rates

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The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all and we know the economic and social impacts of the pandemic are widespread.

We’ve worked to ensure our 2020/2021 Budget respects the challenges of the pandemic situation in the Central Goldfields.

We know the pandemic has created financial hardship for many of our community and so, in March, we moved quickly to develop a financial support package that was designed to directly support both our ratepayers and businesses.

We will also bring forward the review of our COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy in light of the return to restrictions.

This will enable us to determine what can be extended or increased to assist ratepayers who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

The central priority of the 2020/2021 Budget is to implement the key objectives of the 2017–2021 Council Plan and fulfil our commitment to deliver more than 40 services to our community.

Thanks to the huge volume of advocacy and planning that has been undertaken by Council over the past two years we’re also in a position to deliver the biggest capital works program this Council has ever seen.

Economic recovery is a major priority and the $15.9 million capital works program will help stimulate our local economy – with this program of work made possible thanks to the securing of $9.5 million in funding from both Federal and State governments.

The $1.2 million Victorian Government Working for Victoria program will also help boost the local economy and ensure we have the resources to support our economic recovery efforts moving forward.

The budget includes net borrowings of $331,000 to deliver a cash balanced budget and a rate rise of 2.0% in line with the State Government determined rate cap and an increase of 6.5% for waste charges to meet the increasing costs of managing waste.

The rate rise of 2% was not a decision taken lightly. Whilst there are many in our community who are struggling, there are many – particularly our larger businesses and corporations – that haven’t been impacted by the pandemic and are doing really well.

It’s not possible for us to only freeze rates for those in need – and so to avoid giving additional assistance to our bigger businesses and corporations – we will continue to offer direct assistance to those in need via our financial support package.

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic please make contact with us so that we can discuss how we can support you or your business.