Like the rest of Australia and all around the world, life in Lake Mac is changing as a result of the evolving situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We know this is a difficult time for our community and we’re particularly mindful of people who are most vulnerable and socially isolated. We’re working to ensure our community stays connected and gets the services they need.
Financial Hardship Assistance
All legal action to recover outstanding rates has been placed on hold temporarily. If you are experiencing financial hardship, or have recently been stood down and have had your income reduced or ceased as a result of COVID-19 you may be eligible for Council's Financial Hardship Assistance.
Under Council's recently adopted Financial Hardship Assistance Policy interest on overdue rates is waived and flexible payment plans can be put in place. We are currently in the process of amending the policy to include businesses and those who have rental properties.
Our team are working very hard to assess enquiries on a case by case basis. We ask for those who are not yet in arrears but concerned about payment of their next instalment to call once they have received their notice.
Frequently asked questions
Will Council defer the fourth installment of my rates due to COVID-19
Under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 Council is unable to waive rates and charges. Council is required to issue instalment notices 30 days prior to the due date. It is anticipated that this will continue to happen in April 2020 with the fourth instalment due on 31 May 2020.
If you are unable to pay your instalment by the due date as a cause of COVID-19 we encourage you to contact our Debt Management Team on 02 4921 0377 to discuss an extension for this payment.
Will I accrue interest on my overdue rates if I am unable to pay them?
If you are experiencing financial hardship you can apply for assistance under Council's Financial Hardship Assistance Policy. The policy allows for interest to be waived and flexible payment plans put in place for individuals who can demonstrate they are experiencing hardship. Applications are to include supporting documents, including written confirmation from the business or place of employment for those temporarily stood down as a result of COVID-19, and will be assessed on an individual basis. Otherwise, interest will continue to accrue on overdue rates as per the Local Government Act.
I am experiencing Financial Hardship what should I do?
If you have experienced income loss, business closure or job loss as a result of COVID-19 you can apply for Financial Hardship Assistance.
I cannot pay my arrears in full, what can I do?
Please contact Council's Debt Management team on 02 4921 0377 to discuss a suitable payment arrangement. If you are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19 Council is offering flexible payment arrangements until 30 June 2020.
As rates cannot be waived, you are encouraged to make payment where possible. The Debt Management Team are ready to help you with a payment plan that will suit your financial situation.
My business has ceased trading and I cannot pay my rates, what can I do?
Please contact Council's Debt Management Team on 02 4921 0377 to discuss a suitable payment arrangement.
My tenant is not paying rent so I am unable to pay rates, how can Council assist me?
Please contact Council's Debt Management team on 02 4921 0377 to discuss a suitable payment arrangement.
Community care cards
To help the community help each other, we have produced some Meet the Street cards that allow you to easily check-in on your neighbour. If you're worried about someone who lives near you or just want to say hi, why not drop a note in their mailbox?
Download printable version(PDF, 239KB).
Unfortunately there has been a noticeable increase in hackers taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus. The methods of attacks include phishing emails and phone calls impersonating the World Health Organisation, government authorities and legitimate business – including travel agents and telecommunications companies. Please be mindful and vigilant during these times.
Looking after our staff
The health and wellbeing of all our employees is really important to us. We've been regularly communicating with staff about how we can all keep healthy and avoid transmitting COVID-19 at work, and we have reviewed our cleaning programs to increase our cleaning frequency. We're also implementing a range of measures to allow our staff to work from home or other locations to promote safe working environments.
Working together as a community
We’ve created a community information flyer to share health advice and simple tips on how to manage stress and anxiety levels. Lake Macquarie has a wonderful sense of community and together we can get through this difficult time.
Download flyer(PDF, 334KB)