Frankston City Council continues to support individuals, community groups, sporting clubs and businesses via its $7.038 million COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package.
Councillors voted recently at a Council meeting to extend its relief for sporting clubs and outdoor fitness providers by waiving summer tenancy fees and ground hire fees by $134,000.
South Ward Cr Brad Hill said the forced hibernation of the majority of sporting clubs has severely impacted their financial sustainability and the fee waiver will provide critical relief to 27 summer sporting clubs in Frankston City.
“This financial relief will assist clubs through the COVID recovery phase to re-engage the local community back into sport and recreation and return to a normal operating environment.
“As seen throughout the pandemic, community sporting clubs have been severely impacted both financially and operationally. As well, the community has not being able to engage with and be a part of local sport. The ability for clubs to generate revenue has been limited and clubs will need to ensure financial sustainability and stability as community sport recommences in a COVID normal environment,” Cr Hill said.
Cr Hill said that waiving the fees will reduce some of the stresses placed on clubs to raise funds, adding: “Without the need to raise as much money, club volunteers will be able to complete the COVID-19 reporting requirements and enable the community to come together to play sport and connect with each other.
“Sporting clubs are a critical part of our community and play an integral role keeping residents healthy and connected. With many sporting clubs and organisations still impacted by COVID-19, we’re providing assistance to continue our proud tradition of supporting community support,” Cr Hill said.
Cr Hill said Council had already provided approximately $197,000 to support sporting clubs including grants and winter fee relief via the $7.038 million COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package.
Long Island Cricket Club President James Haley said the tenancy fee waiver has given the club a huge boost when it needed it most.
“It’s a fair bit off pressure off with the season restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes the pressure off for the committee and the members financially and allows us to regroup,” Mr Haley said.
The latest fee relief comes after Council provided a separate $150,000 waiver of tenancy and ground allocation fees for local sporting clubs over winter.
Cr Hill acknowledged that 2020 was an exceptionally difficult year for all across the Frankston City community, adding: “That’s why we extended a helping hand and provided assistance to help individuals, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups recover from the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We boosted our recovery package by a further $258,500 to increase the value of the package to $7.038 million in December and will continue to monitor the evolving needs of the community in its recovery. We’re determined to be there for the most severely impacted by the pandemic.
“Our aim has always been to support as many in our community as possible with grants covering recovery, inclusion support, youth, the environment, business and the arts, to name a few. We’ve also provided extensive rate relief as part of our comprehensive Relief and Recovery Package,” Cr Hill said.
Cr Hill noted that grants included:
COVID-19 Recovery Grants – 69 awarded ($291,731) with a third and final round to open in February.
COVID-19 Urgent Grants – 9 awarded ($26,985). Open all financial year with applications assessed fortnightly for those groups that cannot wait until the Recovery Grants round.
Inclusion Support Grants – 22 awarded ($2561). Open all financial year with applications assessed fortnightly.
Environmental Sustainable Grants – 2 awarded ($2000). Closed until further notice.
Youth Grants – 21 awarded ($9734). Currently closed until the start of the 2021/22 financial year.
Scholarship Grants – 5 awarded ($2455). Open all financial year with applications assessed fortnightly.
Fast Business Grants – 88 awarded ($77,710). Open all financial year with applications assessed weekly.
Creative Industries Professional Development Grants – 8 awarded ($20,000). Now closed.
Artist Project Grants – 8 awarded ($32,000). Now closed.
Actor, theatre-maker and director, Carole Patullo, who received an Artist Project Grant of up to $4000, is excitedly looking forward to creating a solo theatre performance capturing and celebrating some of Frankston’s ‘ordinary champions’.
The show will feature interwoven monologues, possibly linked to a specific time in Frankston. “It’s a huge morale boost at this time when the arts has been so devastated. I’m extremely grateful and excited,” Ms Patullo said.
Council has also provided significant rate relief to those impacted by the pandemic with 2051 applications (properties) approved at a value of $410,200.
Cr Hill said: “We have waived late payment interest of $602,767 since the adoption of the package in May 2020. Deferment is available until June 2021.”
For more information about the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package, please visit www.frankston.vic.gov.au