By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 1 April 2020: The City of Greater Dandenong has unveiled a $4 million relief package to help its most vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Council has introduced a series of measures to ease the financial burden on its residents and ratepayers.
The package includes the following initiatives:
A Rate Relief Package for pensioners and the unemployed totaling $2 million. Greater Dandenong’s 11,000 pensioners will have $100 waived from its fourth-rate installment. All Council ratepayers who are unemployed will be able to apply for a $200 waiver. An online form will be available for them to complete by the end of this week. Council will also consider further rate waivers for people experiencing extreme hardship outside of these two groups up to a maximum of $500.
No interest will be raised on outstanding rates until at least June 30, 2020. A further review will take place at this time.
No legal action will be taken on any individual or business who has outstanding rates until after 30 June 2020.
Council will provide an additional $250,000 to material aid providers in the City of Greater Dandenong
Rents for all traders at Dandenong Market will be waived until 30 June 2020 at a cost of $1.5 million.
Council has waived rents for many of the Council’s commercial leaseholders who have been forced to close as a result of COVID-19 until 30 June 2020. For those still trading, rent has been reduced to 50 percent until 30 June 2020.
Rental rebates will be offered to sporting clubs for seasonal venue hire and for other leisure facilities that have been forced to close including the Dandenong Basketball Association
Greater Dandenong Mayor Councillor Jim Memeti said Council recognized that many people in the local community were facing financial hardship.
“While the actions of the Federal Government are necessary if we are to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, Council is fully aware of the impact this is having on many in our community,” he said.
“We are committing in excess of $4 million to help support those in our community being hit hardest. We want them to know Council cares and is here for them during this health crisis.”
Mayor Memeti said while Council was encouraging residents who could still pay their rates to do so to prevent debt accruing, it also recognized this was not possible for everyone.
“Many people in our community have recently lost their jobs and are simply not in a position to pay their rates,” he said.
“We recognize that things we often take for granted like having enough food on the table are real struggles for some of our residents and we hope the measures we have introduced will help make things a little easier during this very challenging time.”
The City of Greater Dandenong is committed to ensuring essential services continue to be delivered to our local community.
Council’s call centers remain open and any residents in need of support are encouraged to contact Council on 8571 1000.
“This is by far the most challenging health crisis our community has faced but I encourage you all to do the right thing,” Mayor Memeti said.
“Greater Dandenong prides itself on being a community that works together to achieve the best possible outcomes for all. By all working together and helping each other where we can, we can ensure our community bounces back stronger than ever.”