Ratepayers will have extra time to pay this quarter’s rates, with Moreton Bay Regional Council extending the due date in response to the current COVID-19 lockdown.
The original due date of August 18 was this week extended until September 15.
Council voted unanimously in favour of a range of assistance measures for ratepayers, local businesses and community organisations who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Mayor Peter Flannery says the suite of initiatives, including extending rates and food licence renewal due dates, as well as fast-tracking payments to suppliers will provide some relief to those doing it tough.
“Extending the due date of rates by four weeks, and the payment renewal of food licences until January 3, 2022 will help reduce the immediate burden on businesses and individuals suffering financial loss as a result of the lockdown,” Mayor Flannery says.
Short-term cash flow boost
“This is about affording people a little time if that’s all they need to get on top of their bills and provide them with additional short-term cashflow to be able to sustain and recover from the lockdown.
“For Council contractors and suppliers, we’re continuing our accelerated payment terms to ensure cash gets into their pockets and our economy faster, because we are acutely aware that cashflow is one of the greatest stresses for local businesses right now.”
Mayor Flannery says that since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, Council has supported the community and local businesses through a raft of assistance measures and targeted projects to stimulate the local economy worth more than $55 million.
Governments join forces
“Last financial year we injected a massive $104 million in combined government spending on infrastructure projects to boost our local economy, fund 146 projects and support more than 1500 jobs.
“I’m proud to say Moreton Bay Regional Council provided 40 percent of that funding to make this enormous stimulus initiative a reality and we were one of the most agile Councils in the country in terms of recognising the benefit of pitching these shovel-ready projects to state and federal governments for funding, as a way to keep our local economy ticking through COVID lockdowns.
What’s helping so far
Moreton Bay Regional Council initiatives since March 2020 include:
• Providing $7 million in Community Infrastructure Revitalisation and Community Hardship and Assistance Grants
• Rates rebates
• Food Licence refunds (two financial years)
• Suspension of rate collection activities and the introduction of an interest-free period
• Deferred payment of infrastructure charges for development projects
• The introduction of a Local Preference Objective in its Procurement policy
• Fast-tracking $4 million in additional contracted maintenance works
• Recruitment of Council staff, providing employment opportunities
• Fast-tracking payments to suppliers to assist businesses manage cashflow impacts (two payments weekly for the past 18 months upon approval of invoice).
Find more COVID-19 support here.
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