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Kingston increases its COVID-19 community support package with extra rate relief

21 August 2020

Kingston will deliver a $118 reduction on household rates bills in its 2020-21 Budget, as part of additional support for the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

The impact of COVID-19 on the local community and businesses has been widespread and this latest announcement takes Council’s total community economic support package during the crisis to around $12 million.

Kingston Mayor Georgina Oxley said Council had decided to review its draft advertised budget to provide more support to people in our community who are struggling.

“There are many in the community who need our support during these difficult times, so Council has decided to cut $118 off household rates to ease the pressure on local families,” Cr Oxley said.

“These new changes, combined with the economic support package announced at the beginning of COVID, total around $12 million in support for our community.”

The rate relief will be passed on to the community through a $118 reduction of the annual residential waste charge. Rates notices are expected to be sent out from late August, with each property’s share of the overall rates bill determined by its valuation. Higher valued properties pay a greater share of rates than lower valued properties.

Support measures on offer from Kingston include:

  • $118 discount for ratepayers with a waste service
  • $112.20 rebate for pensioners
  • extending the $112.20 rebate to ratepayers on JobSeeker and businesses on JobKeeper (subject to application)
  • no interest charged on overdue rates during 2020/21
  • rates can be deferred for payment until 30 June 2021 for anyone struggling to pay.

“This is a significant support package for our Kingston community and as a Council we want our ratepayers to know we are here to support them,” Cr Oxley said.

Council will also continue to invest ratepayer funds to provide high-quality children’s services, upgrade local Scout and Girl Guide Halls, roll-out library improvements and vital infrastructure including footpaths, roads and drainage

“We’re continuing to invest in our beautiful foreshore as well, and ensuring our community has access to modern and well-maintained facilities, we’re also making sure our environment is protected,” Cr Oxley said.

“We have a responsibility into the future to make sure we can continue to provide the quality services that our community requires and that means ensuring the financial stability of this organisation.

“Council also needs to maintain a strong capital works program that allows us to provide local jobs for local people and support our community as we recover from COVID-19.”

The extensive capital works Budget for 2020-21 features a wide range of projects, services and initiatives to support our community.

Budget highlights:

Investing in sport and recreation facilities including the Dolamore Reserve athletic track renewal, the Ben Kavanagh Reserve Master Plan and netball courts, the soon to be launched Aspendale Gardens Pavilion and sports field, upgrading Dingley’s Chadwick Reserve, completing the final stage of the G.H. Soppet Pavilion Redevelopment in Mentone, and putting the finishing touches on the new Dales Park netball centre in Oakleigh South.

Major investment in important community facilities including improving Scout and Girl Guide Halls to ensure they are accessible to all and refurbishing the 5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts building.

Maintaining vital community infrastructure including spending on Kingston’s roads, footpath repairs and flood mitigation/drainage works.

Continuing to provide financial support Council will extend the its Pensioner Rebate to ratepayers who are on the JobSeeker allowance and to businesses that are registered for the Federal Government JobKeeper payment scheme for the 2020/21 year. No interest will be charged on overdue rates during 2020/21 and rates can also be deferred for payment until 30 June 2021, and payment arrangements are available.

 

 

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