Council support package

Support for businesses leasing Council premises

This measure has two parts, the first is a scaled commercial rent relief program that reduces or waives up to 100% of rent owed to Council by eligible business for a period of up-to six months. All tenants of a Council-owned property are eligible to be a part of the Rent Support Program, however, the proposed reduction will differ depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tenant.

The second part is a rent relief program for Council’s residential tenants that provides a 50% waiver on rent for tenants significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency for a period of up-to six months. This is applicable to tenants who are ineligible for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment or other similar welfare programs. 

These two rent relief measures are required to be exhibited for 28 days. Once these are endorsed by Council, any reductions to rent will be backdated to 1 April 2020.

For more information, Council tenants are encouraged to contact their usual Property Manager.

Financial Assistance for Community Lessees

This measure will see the waiving of lease fees for community organisations that lease Council-owned land/and or buildings for a period of six months.

Approximately 85 community and recreation organisations lease a range of Council-owned land and/or buildings across the city, including community halls, multipurpose and neighbourhood centres, pre-school and child care centres, meals on wheels, scouts and girl guides, men’s sheds and sailing, rowing, BMX, a regional sports centre and surf life saving clubs.

Council has identified a need to provide an assistance package to assist the organisations to remain viable and able to recommence their operations once the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

Updates to Council’s Financial Hardship Policy

Changes to Council’s Financial Hardship Assistance Policy have been made to include businesses and landlords, as well as the waiving of credit card surcharges while Council’s Administration Building is closed.

Under the policy, all legal action to recover outstanding rates has been placed on hold temporarily. The policy also allows for interest on overdue rates to be waived and flexible payment plans to be put in place for residents, businesses and landlords who can demonstrate they are experiencing hardship, or have had income reduced or ceased as a cause of COVID-19.

For more information, see our FAQs.

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Helping community-based organisations

This is a program to enable Council staff to assist community-based organisations, to help deliver critical community services.

This small-scale redeployment would involve staff members whose usual roles at Council are affected by COVID-19. Staff would be deployed to work in vetted roles in community organisations where volunteers are ordinarily used, to help with their day-to-day operations.

The benefits would include:

  • Value adding and expanding the ability of local services to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable residents
  • Leverage Council employees’ skill sets to supplement critical community services
  • Utilise staff whose roles are otherwise reduced/affected by reduced Council services
  • Develop staff skills and experience, and empower them by providing meaningful work in a time of crisis
  • Nurture relationships with not-for-profit and other community service partners.