Northern Grampians Shire will allow council rates and some fees to be deferred or a payment plan put in place under new COVID-19 hardship relief measures.
The council at its meeting on June 1 adopted the COVID-19 Financial Support and Hardship Policy which provides a waiver of fees, charges and registrations to be paid from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Payments covered by the policy include Health Act and Food Act registration fees, accommodation registration fees and community and sporting clubs property lease payments.
The policy was designed to support Northern Grampians individuals and businesses that require financial assistance after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr Murray Emerson said that people should contact council's rates department before applying for assistance.
"This new policy is all about supporting our community and, by providing these assistance options, we hope to alleviate some of the pressure this pandemic is having on our people and businesses," he said.
"I encourage anyone who is in a tight spot to contact our rates team to go over their options before applying for assistance under this policy to make sure council can provide support in a way that best suits individual situations."
People will be able to apply to enter into a payment arrangement or defer payment of rates and fees if they can demonstrate the impact the pandemic has had on their finances.
Council will encourage ratepayers and those with fees owed to set up a payment arrangement with the rates team tailored to reduce the amount of debt owing after the pandemic.
If a payment plan is not suitable, council will hold interest on debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic beginning from the declaration of the State of Emergency on March 16, 2020, until September 30, 2020 to allow time for the debt to be paid without interest.
Any debt outstanding after September 30, 2020 will be subject to interest and conditions set out in the council's Rates and Charges Debt Collection Policy .
For further information call the council's rates department on 03 5358 8700 or visit www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/policies