Rates, fees and charges included in suite of community support measures in response to COVID-19

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to deepen, Singleton Council is proposing to lessen the load with a suite of measures to support the community around rates, fees and charges.

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore announced earlier this week that Council proposes to allocate $475,000 to economic and social programs in response to the pandemic, and said Council was going further to provide even more support under its Community Resilience Package.

“These are unprecedented circumstances, the impacts are unprecedented, and our community requires an unprecedented response,” she said.

“There is no one in our community who is not affected by COVID-19 in some way: people have lost jobs, businesses have closed, children are being told to stay home from school.

“And the impacts are even greater for people in our community who are already vulnerable.

“Council does not want to add to the burden of worry about paying rates and bills, so we’re looking at every possible aspect of our operations to provide relief for our community in addition to funding programs to help our community get through this difficult time.”

The measures include an extension for the fourth quarter rates installment from May 31 to August 31, and childcare cancellation fees have been waived.

Cr Moore said the urgency of the issue meant Council was working to provide solutions now, and more announcements would be made.

“Council is working quickly to review all fees and charges with the objective to find opportunities to provide further relief for our community,” she said.

“We will review water bills ahead of the next quarterly meter reading in May. If need be, we will provide payment extensions for this as well.

“We are also investigating a range of other options to help offset the impact on the community, such as procurement and service delivery changes and in-kind work, to help support the economy.”