This past week has seen many changes in our community as we prepare ourselves for the impact of COVID-19. State and Federal Government directives have influenced how everyone lives their lives, and while some of the changes are hard to accept, we must if we want to overcome these difficult times.
Tonight, Council held its first ever Special Council eMeeting, via video-conferencing. The meeting was convened for Council to consider a COVID-19 Relief package, which includes:
- Transferring $210,000 from the drainage reserve account into the new COVID-19 account
- In advance, under the Local Government Act, unbudgeted expenditure for the provision of support to the local community
- Developing a budget for 2020/2021 based on a zero rate rise and non-regulatory fees increase, excluding commercial and domestic waste services
- The waiving of all non-regulatory Shire fees and charges from 2 April to 30 June
- Waiving of penalty interest charges on outstanding rates from 2 April to 30 June
- Flexible payment plans for those in vulnerable situations or experiencing financial hardship from 30 March 2020
- Refund 2019/2020 Shire property and insurance fees and charges to Sporting and Community Clubs
- Waiving of the 2020/2021 Shire property and insurance fees and charges to Sporting and Community Clubs
- The Deputy Chief Executive Officer will be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer should the Chief Executive Officer become unavailable due to COVID-19
- Shire staff to undertake non-typical activities to support the emergency services, critical services, the elderly and the Neighbour to Neighbour Project.
I am pleased to say that this passed through Council with an Absolute Majority.
The Shire of Three Springs, working with Three Springs Community Action Group, created the ‘Neighbour to Neighbour’ project to put vulnerable members of the community in touch with volunteers, who will assist them with shopping, walking dogs, mail collection and more. Shire developed, printed and mailed out forms to all the community. If you still want to participate as a volunteer or need but have not returned the form, please contact our Community Development Officer on 9954 1001.
On the Shire website a page has been created, linking relevant government sites to provide up to date information for community members. I strongly urge you to visit the page and see what support and information is available to you.
With strong leadership and level heads, we will get through this. Remember, we are all in this together, and by looking out for one another we will survive. Be patient, be kind.
Cr Chris Lane