Mayor's Message - 22 May 2020

At this week’s council meeting, our council unanimously resolved to provide additional support to the ratepayers of the Dungog Shire in the wake of COVID-19. 

Council will be implementing various measures to help mitigate the negative economic impacts and assist our community in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

These include:

  • Extend council’s Hardship Policy to encompass all assessments, not just Residential or Farmland primary residences, with this change potentially in place until 30 September 2020; 
  • Commence no new debt recovery, with any debt collection which has previously commenced to be critically reviewed at each step;
  • Refer ratepayers to a Financial Counsellor, only if the ratepayer was in hardship prior to COVID-19, in an effort to ease the current burden on financial counsellors; and
  • Apply financial hardship to the 2019-20 4th rates instalment (due 31 May), so that no interest will be applied on outstanding rates from the point of contact by the applicant until 30 September 2020. 

Further to this, council will also delay issuing 2020-21 Rate notices until 1 September 2020, thereby extending the time for payment until 30 September 2020, with no interest to be applied on outstanding rates from the point of contact by the applicant until 30 September 2020.

Importantly, any interest accumulated prior to these periods will not be written off and rates and reminder notices will continue to be issued in accordance with legislative provisions and the timeframes within those provisions.

While these provisions will impact council’s cash flow as they are applicable to all ratepayers, not just those impacted by the pandemic, council sees this as an opportunity to support our community to grow and prosper following this year’s catastrophic events.

We were once again successful in live streaming our council meeting to our broader community via council’s Facebook page. I would like to reiterate my appreciation to both the staff and councillors involved for their adaptability during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable us to continue to share this important information with our community.

For anyone who missed Wednesday night’s meeting, a live video of proceedings will remain on council’s Facebook page until the next meeting is held. To view visit: facebook.com/dungogcouncil

Lastly, for anyone wishing to contact me please get in touch via phone (4995 7777) or email (shirecouncil@dungog.nsw.gov.au) and I will be happy to take answer your enquiries.

We’re all in this together.

JOHN CONNORS
Mayor

Read the full Council Happenings.