Health small business Community facilities | April 01, 2020

Kealy backs local councils’ call for rate relief

The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy MP has backed councils calling for rate relief from the Victorian Government as the impact of action to prevent the spread of coronavirus bites across western Victoria.

Yesterday many rural and regional councils from across the state wrote to Treasurer Tim Pallas requesting urgent assistance to provide rate relief. 

Ms Kealy said helping councils reduce rates was a fast and effective way for the Victorian Government to support distressed local businesses and property owners.

“Councils should be offering rate relief to distressed households and local businesses, but they need the state government to give them a hand,” Ms Kealy said.

“Unlike their city counterparts, local councils do not have access to substantial cash streams from parking fees and permits, which means they are not in the same position to freeze or reduce rates without state government support.

“Rate relief is a fast way to ease the burden on the community at a time when many are in a dire financial situation.”

Ms Kealy said state government assistance was needed to help councils keep staff, provide essential services and continue to support communities.

“The costs to councils dealing with this crisis are mounting quickly, and if the state government doesn’t step in with funding, it will be ratepayers who will be left to foot the bill,” she said. 

“This is a very sensible and pragmatic request from our local councils, and I urge the Victorian Government to expedite support.”

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