By Ewen McRae
Melton ratepayers experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic are set for some relief.
Council last week approved an assistance package for residents affected due to loss of income or job, with the new measures to come into effect immediately.
Eligible ratepayers experiencing substantial financial difficulties at this time, can now apply for a waiver of $200 for the fourth quarter 2019/20 rates.
Those who have a current Personal Centrelink Reference number and receive a current welfare payment will be eligible, while alternative evidence of financial hardship will also be considered.
Melton mayor Lara Carli said it was important they helped those residents experiencing hardship during such a tough time.
“We understand that some people in our community are facing financial hardship as result of the COVID-19 crisis, and this is something Council has taken into account in
considering rates payments,” she said.
“By introducing these support measures, we’re doing what we can to help financially affected individuals, families, and businesses manage what is an incredibly challenging time.
“Your rates help fund roads, leisure and community centres, children’s programs, care services, parks, footpaths, library books, and so much more.
“This response will ensure we can continue to deliver these important programs and services while making things a little easier on those ratepayers most impacted at this time.”
This measure adds to Council’s recently implemented COVID-19 Financial Assistance Policy, which provides options to people experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 impacts.
Both residential and business ratepayers can request to access this policy for payment plans, payment deferrals, and waivers of penalty interest.
Council has begun sending out rates notices, and the due date for payments has been extended to June 26.