Rockhampton Regional Council has voted to immediately roll out a relief package worth up to $1.3 million to help support local businesses and community groups.
The package includes:
- No additional interest on outstanding rates until further notice
- Lease fee refunds for eligible sporting and community groups
- Existing business licences extended until June 30 2021
- Rent relief for commercial tenants
- Cash contribution of $20,000 each for two local animal welfare agencies – Capricorn Animal Aid and Central Queensland Animal Society
- All Environmentally Relevant Authorities extended for a further 12 months
- In-kind support for the business community from Advance Rockhampton
“The situation around COVID-19 is changing incredibly quickly, and we know that our community is already feeling the economic impact of this pandemic,” Mayor Margaret Strelow said.
“Our capacity to offer support is clearly different to other levels of government.
“I’m also very mindful that our rates are collected based on property value and regardless of income, and that we need to think of the fairness of using ratepayer money – which includes money paid by pensioners and those struggling – to support business.
“However, we know that recovery for our community will be smoothest if we can help to keep our local businesses alive and keep people employed. ”
Cr Strelow flagged a further economic stimulus package to be brought before the new council, which would include a revised rates payment policy.