Town of Victoria Park Council has committed to a 0% rate rise for the 2020-2021 budget among a suite of measures to support the community in response to the impact of COVID-19.
At a Special Council Meeting held on 7 April, Council voted unanimously to support no increase in rates, fees and charges. In additional relief for almost 5,000 ratepayers, collection of charges for underground power will be deferred until 2021.
Mayor Karen Vernon said: “The past four weeks have been difficult for everyone in our community.
“We are committed to helping them survive and thrive through this difficult and uncertain time. There has never been a more important time for Council to step up for our community.”
Council also directed Town staff to prepare two alternative budget scenarios to achieve a potential reduction in rates of between 5% and 10%, to be considered during the upcoming budget process.
Effective immediately, Council has also waived interest on outstanding rates for 2019-2020, waived cancellation fees, late fees and suspension fees until further notice, and waived rent for not-for-profits and sporting clubs leasing Town property.
Several reports were requested to come back to Council in the coming months outlining further measures.
“We have requested preparation of a Hardship Relief Policy, investigation of a donation program for local not-for-profits and charities, and the creation of a reserve fund dedicated to future recovery projects and programs.” Mayor Vernon said.
With three State Underground Power Projects now underway across Victoria Park and Carlisle, the Town borrowed $18.15 million from the WA Treasury Corporation last month.
Council agreed to call on the WA Government to immediately suspend the loan guarantee fee currently imposed by the WA Treasury Corporation on loans to local governments up until 30 June 2021.
For more information on actions already undertaken to support the community and local businesses visit our COVID-19 information page and FAQs at https://www.victoriapark.wa.gov.au/COVID-19.