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Statement from the Mayor regarding misleading Herald Sun article

Thursday 30 April 2020

Council is disappointed with the article in today’s Herald Sun which incorrectly states that Council intends to apply for an exemption to the State Government’s mandated 2 per cent rate cap. 

We realise that rates and rate increases are an important matter to our community, so here are the facts.

Frankston City Council has no intention to increase rates beyond the 2 per cent rate cap or apply to the Essential Services Commission for an exemption to do so.

Council has released its proposed 2020–2021 Annual Budget for community consultation, which clearly states an overall rate increase of 2 per cent, in line with the State Government mandate (refer page 41 of Council’s proposed 2020-2021 Annual Budget).  This has been confirmed with the Minister for Local Government’s Office this morning following the release of the article.

The proposed budget also includes a $3.37 million community care package to support local COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, which will be available in the 2020-2021 financial year.

We understand that this is a challenging time for many in our community and that meeting rate payment due dates may be difficult for some, which is why we have suspended penalty interest on overdue accounts until 30 June 2020.

Council is also offering flexible payment options to impacted residents, and urging anyone unable to meet their payment due date to apply for an Arrangement to Pay.

Alongside these initiatives, Council is also finalising the details of an enhanced Relief and Recovery Package which is expected to be considered by Council at its next ordinary meeting on Monday 11 May.

The enhanced package identifies a number of further initiatives that will provide targeted support in the short, medium and long term to for individuals, communities, businesses and the local economy.

In the meantime, to help residents and businesses navigate and connect with the services and resources they need at this time, we’ve launched the Community Recovery Call Centre.  This service is available by calling 1300 322 322.

The call centre facilitates improved connection with service agencies along with Council services, including but not limited to meals assistance, housing and family violence supports, and financial hardship services, parenting and aged services information.

We also have our Business Concierge on hand to support local businesses connect with Council and government supports available. More information is available via our website.

We are privileged that so many community based organisations are also providing relief at this difficult time and we have set up a number of long-life food donation points within the city to help them support those in need.

These are just some of the many measures we already have in place to support our community during the current social distancing restrictions and in its recovery from COVID-19, with many more initiatives to be rolled out over the coming months.

Council’s Monday 11 May Ordinary Council Meeting agenda will be available for the public to review from late-afternoon on Thursday 7 May: Visit: www.frankston.vic.gov.au  

Council proposed Annual Budget 2020–2021 is available online, here: www.frankston.vic.gov.au/AnnualBudget

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