Mitchell Shire Council supports COVID-19 recovery package

By David Rak

Mitchell Shire Council has supported a recovery package that will help assist residents and businesses during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the breakout of COVID-19, the council has been evaluating delivery of frontline services to the community, adapting to the new situation, as well as the type of support council can offer the community, including the business sector.

The package builds on measures so far implemented by council and its partnership groups in supporting residents and business.

It includes:

● A successful application in attracting $3.8 million under the Working for Victoria fund to assist the shire’s critical response to the COVID-19 pandemic;

● Waiving statutory planning pre-application planning fees;

● Extension of planning permit fee (business only);

● Local laws fees (for businesses) including A-frames; outdoor dining; displaying goods; roadside trading;

● Waiving Environmental Health fees (for businesses) including food businesses (including mobile), cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons and tattooists;

● Waving some public land hire fees;

● Supporting a tourism activation campaign up to $50 000;

● Supporting the Great Victorian Rail Trail (GVRT) strategic signage implementation plan $20 000;

● Investigating further the opportunity to support an acquisitive sculpture prize of $5000;

It builds on the deferral of fourth quarter rate payments until September 30 for residents and businesses with no penalty interest.

Mitchell Shire mayor David Lowe said attention as a council and community was now focusing on recovery efforts around COVID-19.

“As a community we have been diligent, patient and importantly on many fronts, kind to each other. Kindness and support are the fabric of any community,” he said.

“As a council we truly understand the pressure and the need for services this pandemic has placed on our community. As a council we have been committed to the safety and wellbeing of our community and staff at this time.

“Council has worked to create a package to support community and business moving into recovery.

“This has included a successful grant application to Working for Victoria which will see additional staff engaged, at a minimal cost to ratepayers, to assist with the recovery process.

“I want to thank the council workforce, who have been flexible, committed and who have worked tremendously hard to keep as many services as possible running, our community for their understanding and support and our fabulous volunteers and for their efforts during this time.

“We will continue to monitor our situation and adapt as required to support all through this crisis. Recovery will continue to evolve and build on actions and directives of the Federal and state governments, so we do not duplicate efforts.”