Council announces new multi-million-dollar COVID-19 support package

City of Parramatta Council has announced a package of measures worth up to $2.9 million to support local households and businesses impacted by the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Endorsed at last night’s Council Meeting, the support package reinstates various measures first brought in last year such as parking concessions and rates relief, and introduces a new childcare gap-fee waiver.

“Our top priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our community and as the lockdown continues, we’re delivering targeted and immediate support to households and businesses as quickly as possible,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

“As the pandemic has evolved, so too has our response. Our new support package builds on the $3 million worth of measures and economic grants we delivered last year, providing immediate financial relief as well as long-term benefits to thousands of people.

MUST READ  FIRST FEMALE SENIOR PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR NSW

“This assistance will help ensure we get through the current lockdown and bounce back stronger on the other side.”

For three months, backdated to 26 June, Council will:

· waive interest on late Council rates payments and implement payment plans for eligible ratepayers;
· waive pre-paid and ongoing license and hire fees for food stalls, temporary premises, non-commercial advertising, community halls, parks, and community venues;
· pay invoices from local, small and medium-sized suppliers within seven days, instead of the current 30 days;
· waive outdoor dining license and approval fees for all City of Parramatta businesses. Businesses along the Parramatta Light Rail corridor will have these fees waived for six months;
· waive rents for Council-owned assets occupied by community groups, essential services and not-for-profit organisations;
· provide rent relief for eligible tenants of Council’s Affordable Housing Dwellings; and
· provide various parking concessions to facilitate takeaway services and support local businesses, such as offering grace periods, issuing cautions for time-limited on-street parking spaces, and reducing and changing time limits in a number of local on-street parking locations.

MUST READ  FIJI CAN BE A CARBON-NEUTRAL MODEL

To support families, from 19 July, Council is also participating in the Australian Government’s scheme to waive the childcare gap-fee for parents or carers on days they choose to keep their children at home due to stay-at-home orders.

The new package comes on top of a range of other Council initiatives to support the community including opening up Council facilities to community organisations that provide essential services, such as food banks, as well as offering services, programs and resources online.

Cr Dwyer also said Council stands ready to support the State and Federal Governments by making facilities available to support COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and other related services.

MUST READ  PRESIDENT KONROTE AT THE FIJI SCOUTS AGM 2019

“Over the past 12 months, Council has provided support for a number of COVID-19 testing sites and is ready and willing to provide further support or facilities where required, including for the vaccine rollout,” Cr Dwyer said.

“If last year proved anything it’s that we can overcome challenges of the pandemic by working together. One way we can support each other is by getting vaccinated as soon as we are eligible, in line with the advice from NSW Health.

“I believe the more people who are vaccinated against COVID-19, the quicker the City of Parramatta can get back on its feet and life can begin to return to normal.”