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Helping hand for our most vulnerable community members

Helping hand for our most vulnerable community members

07 September 2020

The City of Greater Dandenong has unveiled a $5.6 million relief package to help its most vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Council has introduced a series of measures to ease the financial burden on its residents and ratepayers.

The package includes the following initiatives:

  • Council announced in April a rate waiver package totalling an estimated $1.75 million. This included an immediate waiver of $100 for all pensioners in May 2020 and a $200.00 rate waiver on application for all residents in receipt of the Jobseeker allowance. In July, Council extended the ability for residents to apply for the $200 Jobseeker waiver through until November 2020.  Councils existing hardship policy also allows for residents who are experiencing financial hardship but not in receipt of the Jobseeker allowance to apply for rate waivers. An online form is available to download - JobSeekers Rebate Application Form and cllick this link to read more information

  • Council has previously resolved to waive all penalty rate interest through until 30 June and will consider a report on 14 September to extend this to all rateable properties until 30 September with residential properties having the interest free period extended to 31 December 2020.

  • No legal action will be taken on any rateable property with rates outstanding although Council encourages ratepayers to continue to make all available steps to keep their rate payments up to date.

  • Council allocated an additional $250,000 in the 2019-20 Budget for the provision of material aid in the City of Greater Dandenong. Council has continued to supply meals to those in need throughout the ongoing period since 1 July 2020 and is seeking further government assistance to continue this program.

  • Rents were waived for all traders within the Dandenong Market for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 and rental subsidies including zero rent for those traders unable to trade at present continue to apply within the market. Over the course of the two financial years, financial support to allow this vital facility to remain open and trading to the community will be in excess of $3.0 million in lost revenue to Council.

  • Council has waived rents or reduced rents for many of Council’s commercial leaseholders who have been forced to close as a result of COVID-19 or remain open in a limited capacity during this time.

  • Rental rebates have been 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 recognised 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 $5.6 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 recognised 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 recognise 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 centres 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.”

For all the latest updates on COVID-19 and its impact on Council services and operations please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update articles.

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