In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Local Governments in the region are considering or undertaking the following measures to relieve the impact on the local community. Measures are intended to reduce the financial impact on ratepayers and local businesses while working to stimulate the local economy.
 

Shire of Carnamah
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship

Shire of Chapman Valley

At the Council meeting on Monday, 6 April and Wednesday, 20 May, the Shire of Chapman Valley:
  • Removed Elected Members sitting fee expenses and allowances from 2019/20 Budget
  • Endorsed 2020/2021 Draft Fees and Charges based on no increases from 2019/2020.
  • Adopted a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Procedure.

Shire of Coorow
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Redeploy staff from closed facilities
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Bring forward capital works program
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Cue

At the Council meeting on Tuesday, 21 April. the Shire of Cue
  • Adopted a rates hardship policy
  • Resolved to consider not increasing rates as part of the 2020-21 budget process, noting that Council has budgeted a nil rate increase for GRV properties in each of the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years and reduced UV mining rates in each of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years;
  • Resolved to consider rate relief options to support small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the 2020-21 budget process, noting that the Shire currently provides a 20% discount for businesses which pay their rates by the due date;
  • Decided to review fees and charges considering whether fees can be reduced, waived or deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the 2020-21 budget process;
  • Committed to
    • Bring forward capital works and infrastructure spending where possible while maintaining accountability and financial responsibility in line with current integrated strategic plans;
    • Prioritise Local Government spending with businesses and contractors located within the Local Government;
    • Continue the current practice of business friendly payment terms to support business cash flow
    • Continue redeploying staff affected by facility closures to tasks that support the community
  • Resolved to consider supporting Community sporting and cultural groups by either establishing grant programs or waiving fees and charges as part of the 2020-21 budget process, noting that there are very few of these groups within the Shire


City of Greater Geraldton

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The City of Greater Geraldton has started CGG TV which utilises Facebook Live across several different Facebook pages and broadcasts different 'classes' throughout the week such as yoga, kid's fitness and boxing with the Mayor. This is part of commUNITY, a broader project designed to maintain and enhance community connection at a time where social distancing and self-isolation means physical interaction isn’t possible.

City of Greater Geraldton

At the Council meeting on Tuesday, 24 March, the City of Greater Geraldton resolved
  • Draft budget will include a freeze on rates and fees and charges and consider further hardship measures.
  • Free parking across all City parking stations.

Shire of Irwin
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Bring forward capital works program
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Meekatharra
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Repurpose reserves to generate economic activity
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship

Shire of Mingenew
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Redeploy staff from closed facilities
  • Repurpose reserves to generate economic activity
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship

Shire of Morawa
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Redeploy staff from closed facilities
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Repurpose reserves to generate economic activity
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Mount Magnet

At the Council meeting on Wednesday, 8 April, the Shire of Mount Magnet
  • Resolved to prepare the 2020/21 Shire budget with a zero rate increase and no increase to Fees and Charges.
  • Reduced instalment interest and penalty interest to 0% and the instalment administration charge to $0 for all outstanding rates.

Shire of Murchison

At the Council meeting on Thursday, 26 March, the Shire of Murchison
  • Resolved to freeze current rate levels for the 2020/21 year.
  • Authorised the Chief Executive Officer to introduce special COVID-19 leave provisions for Council employees that are appropriate to our circumstances.
  • Resolved to consider expanding its works program by bringing forward projects that can stimulate the local economy and provide lasting benefits for the community.

Shire of Northampton

At the Council meeting on Friday, 20 March, Thursday, 26 March and Friday, 17 April, the Shire of Northampton
  • Resolved to grant paid COVID-19 leave in specified circumstances.
  • Ceased raising interest on any unpaid rates and charges until further notice.
  • Resolved that no further legal action for recovery of rates and charges occur until further notice.
  • Resolved to reimburse oval hire fees to the Northampton Football Club.
  • Decided to consider rent or lease reduction in the 2020/21 Budget.

Shire of Perenjori
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Redeploy staff from closed facilities
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Bring forward capital works program
  • Repurpose reserves to generate economic activity
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop Recovery Strategy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Sandstone

At the Council meeting on Friday, 24 April, the Shire of Sandstone
  • Resolved to freeze rates, fees and charges for the 2020/21 financial year.
  • Agreed to 50% waiver of rates for specified tourism dependent businesses for the 2020/21 financial year.
  • Offered a 5% reduction on mining rates for the 2020/21 financial year.

Shire of Three Springs
 

The Shire of Three Springs created the ‘Neighbour to Neighbour’ project putting vulnerable members of the community in touch with volunteers offering assistance as needed.
Shire staff will be available to undertake non-typical activities to support emergency and critical services and businesses.
On the Shire website a  page has been created, providing up to date information for community members.
Council has approved a COVID-19 Relief package, which includes:
  • Allocating $210,000 
  • Zero rate rise and non-regulatory fees increase for 2020/2021
  • Waiving of penalty interest charges on outstanding rates from 2 April to 30 June
  • Flexible payment plans for those in vulnerable situations or experiencing hardships

Read more
 

Shire of Three Springs
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Repurpose reserves to generate economic activity
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Wiluna
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Redeploy staff from closed facilities
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Shire of Yalgoo
 
  • Freeze Rate (no rates increase in June)
  • Freeze fees and charges
  • Rent relief to tenants of Council properties
  • Bring forward capital works program
  • Fast track approvals processes
  • Refund booking fees for Council events and assets
  • Implement Buy Local Policy
  • Develop strategy for vulnerable people in the community
  • Link to local not-for-profit groups
  • Implemented payment plans for hardship
  • Revise current budget

Got a project, policy or initiative that you'd like to share?  Email  communications@walga.asn.au