COVID 19 - Shire considers financial relief measures

Shire of Mundaring is urgently developing plans to help support local community members and businesses through the economic and social turmoil caused by COVID-19.

Shire President Cr John Daw said a range of short and medium term measures are being considered.

"We are working as hard as we can to respond to this unprecedented crisis," he said.

"This includes planning for a freeze on all local government household rates, fees and charges in 2020-21. We are considering what financial relief measures we can put in place now to ease pressure on individuals, families and local businesses."

Cr Daw said an urgent Special Council Meeting was being convened as soon as possible to consider a range of support initiatives which can be put in place immediately.

"Measures taken to date include implementing the various Federal and State government requirements, such as closure of services and facilities. All fees and charges are being refunded for cancelled bookings and we are mindful that there is still much more we can do," he added.

Cr Daw said Shire of Mundaring was gearing its 2020-21 Budget towards supporting the local community while we face these significant challenges.

"Council will be meeting with Shire staff in coming days to determine how the Shire can provide rate relief through the next budget," he said.

"I have been liaising with CEO Jonathan Throssell and he has advised me that staff are preparing a budget for Council's consideration which will reflect a freeze on all local government household rates, fees and charges in 2020/21."

The budget will be developed by May.

"COVID-19 is presenting challenges that will take a long time to unfold and an equally long time to recover," Cr Daw added.

"The Federal and State governments have offered macro measures to help provide relief to industry and businesses and safety nets to individuals. At the local government level we are continuing to provide essential services as well as new initiatives to support community and economic recovery.

Crucially, Cr Daw added, the Shire remains open for business.

"It's not quite business as usual however Council and Shire staff are dedicated to maintaining critical frontline services and delivering support functions," he said.

Further information will follow.

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