Finding ways to ease financial pressures during COVID-19

From Brimbank Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou and CEO Helen Morrissey

We know that like other areas, Brimbank is doing it tough due to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Just as we’re finding innovative ways to continue to deliver for our community and look after those most at risk, Council is also looking at how we can reduce the pressure on our ratepayers, businesses and sporting clubs.

This includes:

  • Options for rates relief
  • Relief for sporting clubs
  • Supporting local business
  • Extensions to community grants
  • Animal registrations fees on hold

The focus with these initiatives is immediate relief and assistance, as a first step in a multi-pronged recovery approach. 

Council is further working on a broader stimulus and engagement strategy for the medium to longer term for when businesses and communities can re-open their doors. This broader planning should be a partnership approach with business and community.    

As part of the initial step, Council is working through what we can offer as rates relief because we know home owners as well as businesses and commercial properties are all facing impacts from COVID-19. More information will be provided to ratepayers once this is determined.

We’re aware the suspension of sporting seasons is going to significantly impact the sports clubs ability to generate revenue to pay fees. With sporting facilities now shut and clubs unable to provide any sporting opportunities, Council is putting on hold invoicing clubs for utility charges, licence and lease fees and will at the appropriate time consider the waiving of some costs depending on the timeframes and level of operations impacted.

Council is encouraging local businesses to take advantage of the State and Federal Governments’ business stimulus packages. A new Business Support and Assistance page on our website offers useful information, support and resources and our Economic Development Team and Place Managers (Sunshine and St Albans) will be actively contacting businesses about support and assistance available.

Variations to grant agreements is another way Council is easing pressure. All community grant recipients have been offered an extension for the grants they’ve received, so they can hold their programs once it’s safe to do so.

Responsible pet owners feeling the pressure don’t need to pay their annual pet registrations until the COVID-19 situation is resolved. There will be no penalty or additional costs.

If anyone is concerned about how COVID-19 is affecting their ability to make any Council payment, we encourage them to give Council a call on 9249 4000 and speak to a Council officer about how we can help.