The City of Canning Council has endorsed a COVID-19 relief package worth $16.5 million to support the Canning community now, and on the road to recovery.
An electronic Special Council Meeting was held on 30 April and considered 15 different measures in a report titled Community and Business Support – Phase 1 Response. Council indicated that more measures were likely to be considered in the coming months.
Some of the measures took effect immediately following the meeting, including rent abatements and a financial hardship policy. Other measures will impact the next budget, including a rates commitment, the deferment of underground power charges, and bringing forward key capital works projects.
Mayor Patrick Hall was delighted with the outcome of the meeting.
“The COVID-19 Relief Package is an investment in our local community and provides much needed financial relief and support for those experiencing hardship. Importantly, it is Council’s Phase 1 response, with the expectation that there may be a need for further local stimulus as the crisis continues,” said Mayor Hall.
“The City of Canning’s package has been designed to complement recent announcements by the State and Federal governments and to provide meaningful support for our residents, our community and sporting groups, businesses, and the Canning economy during these challenging times.
“I’m also pleased to announce that the City will not increase the rate revenue from our community in the next financial year. We will collect the same amount of rates overall next year as we collected this year, and I am certain that this is in keeping with the expectations of the community. ”
Key highlights of the package include:
- financial hardship policy for ratepayers suffering hardship to be able to pause payments and set up alternate payment arrangements
- no increase in rate revenue collected by the City
- delay of the first quarterly rates instalment due date to November 2020
- no increase in the waste service fee, transfer station fees, or the security charge
- deferral of any new underground power charges for 12 months
- waiving of inspection fees for food businesses
- rental abatements for those renting City owned premises
- funding for the Connect in Canning project to help connect vulnerable people to support
- capital projects brought forward that stimulate the local economy, create jobs and keep people in work
- the City is committed to paying small and medium business suppliers within 14 days
- other initiatives to stimulate local business and assist in the recovery process developed in consultation with local businesses and the community.
At the Meeting Council endorsed new Resilience Grants available to local not-for-profit organisations, unincorporated groups, and small businesses to help them deal with the impact of COVID-19 or shift activities onto online platforms.
“Over the past month and a half we have been working closely with our community to alleviate some of the pressures the pandemic has put on us all. This package provides very welcome relief across a broad cross section of our community and particularly for those who have been most affected.
“As the full economic and social impacts of COVID-19 become fully understood, further measures will need to be considered by Council as part the City’s long term recovery plan to be developed over the coming months,” he said.