Wollongong Council is now offering rate relief for residents and businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus situation.
Council last night voted to approve an option for residential and business ratepayers to defer their rates and annual charges until 31 August 2020.
Council will also not charge any interest for overdue rates and has committed to not undertake legal action at this time.
Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM says Council does encourage residents and businesses to pay their Rates and Annual Charges if they’re in a position to do so, but is doing all it can to provide a financial break for those fdoing it tough at this time.
Rates make up around 60% of Council revenue.
“I appreciate that we might hear some commentary that people shouldn’t be paying rates at all given we’ve closed public access to our libraries, pools and community centres as part of response to coronavirus,’’ says Cr Bradbery, “But this is incorrect.
“While we might have changed some of our services, I can assure you your Council is still here working for you. Bins are being collected, maintenance is ongoing in our rock pools and footpath works are being undertaken in Corrimal CBD. We are continuing to maintain our gardens, beaches, recreational and open spaces for residents to exercise in, as well as our ranger and compliance functions. And, we’re also making plans for the city once this situation has passed and we’re ready for a new and exciting phase in the city’s development.
“We will continue to review and respond to updated Government advice and I ask everyone to support one another – follow the social distancing advice, don’t go out unless it’s essential and to follow NSW Health’s advice and keep washing those hands.’’
For more information about the rates deferral our Customer Service team is available on (02) 4227 7111. All businesses in the area who are impacted by coronavirus are also encouraged to seek support from the Federal and State governments through the www.business.gov.au website.