City of Greater Bendigo introduces rate deferrals and new payment options

By McIvor Times

THE City of Greater Bendigo has announced changes to their rate paying system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are a number of options that can support people depending on individual circumstances and which came into effect on Friday. These are:

● For ratepayers on quarterly instalments, the fourth rate instalment due date will be extended by one month to June 30, 2020
● For those experiencing financial hardship, flexible rate payment plans are available, including the ability to defer all payments on rates to September 30, 2020
● Interest will not be charged for overdue rates or other payments through to September 30, 2020
● There are financial hardship options available, which consider individual circumstances. Customers can contact council via [email protected] or call 5434 6000.

Council will also delay the release of the draft 2020/2021 Budget to enable additional work to be undertaken on the support that can be provided to the community in the next financial year.

Other measures introduced to help residents, businesses and sporting clubs:

● Council is paying all suppliers (regardless of payment terms) as quickly as possible in its weekly payment schedule
● Temporary stop to following up unpaid animal registrations
● A reduction of Council’s commercial rents and ground leases for impacted sporting, community and hospitality venues until at least June 30, 2020.

CoGBChief executive Craig Niemann said COVID-19 was having a far-reaching impact on the community.

“We are committed to supporting the community through this time of uncertainty,” he said.

“We have been working on ways to reduce the pressure on our community, businesses and sporting clubs. We want the community to know that there are a range of options available for those facing financial hardship. This includes the ability to enable flexible payments and defer payments. Please contact us so we can help.

“We know many businesses are facing cash flow challenges. We will also ensure we pay our supplier invoices promptly to support our suppliers.

“This is an unprecedented time that continues to change each day. Council will continue to review the situation and will provide updates to the community if further changes are put in place during this difficult time.”