Council freezes rates for 2020/21

Dardanup Shire Council was in the process of reviewing its long-term financial plans which proposed future rate increases to be 4 per cent per annum, when the national economy was struck a blow by the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.

Initially consideration was given to reducing the increase to only 2.5 per cent, but at its meeting last week, Council went a step further and agreed to freeze rates and fees for 20/21 with a 0 per cent increase.

This was to be followed up a year later with an increase of 3 per cent but with acknowledgement the figure might need to be reduced again depending on economic circumstances.

In recognition of the additional financial pressures the community will be facing in coming months as a direct result of the COVID-19 health crisis, Council also agreed to:

• Suspend penalty interest on outstanding rates for 6 months.
• Pay the building insurance on all community leased buildings owned by Council.
• Undertake a review of debt recovery processes for any further measures to assist those suffering financial hardship with an encouragement for community members to contact the Rates Team if they were experiencing difficulties.

Shire of Dardanup CEO André Schönfeldt said the Executive Team was currently investigating every level of service delivery from planning and building to ranger services for opportunities to support businesses and community members over the coming weeks and months.

Once identified, these opportunities would be presented to the Incident Management Team – formed under Council’s Emergency response procedures – for assessment and action.

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said given the current economic outlook as a result of the global Coronavirus Pandemic, now more than ever ratepayers were concerned about their cost of living.

“We have been able to mobilise staff very quickly in developing and delivering a range of measures to support our community at this difficult time.

“These changes will no doubt have an impact on the size and scope of projects we had planned to deliver to the community in coming years however in light of current circumstances, Council was supportive of prioritising the financial welfare of the community.”

“At our meeting earlier this month Council already endorsed a significant reduction in the previously proposed rate increase for the next financial year.

Mr Schönfeldt said work would continue on reducing costs while maintaining high levels of service delivery and quality facilities and infrastructure while connecting our community through sport, community programs and events.

“We appreciate the involvement of community members who have made recommendations on how costs could be saved and we will continue to consider some of the measures presented by them in reviewing our practices, processes and services on an annual basis,” he said.

  • For information on other Council initiatives to support its community at this time please visit the below links:

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