Liverpool City Council has unveiled a comprehensive resilience package to support members of the community and businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have entered unprecedented times and Liverpool City Council will continue to do all that it can to support those doing it tough,” Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said.
“Close to 20 initiatives, ranging across community support, local economy, rates, fees and charges and advocacy, were adopted at an Extraordinary Council Meeting last night.”
The wider community will benefit from:
- Continued access to Council’s online services and free event programming;
- An amendment to our hardship provisions to allow residents, business and farmland properties to apply to delay rate payments;
- Suspension of debt recovery actions until further notice;
- Refunds or credits to hirers of community facilities;
- Support for the most disadvantaged members of the community, including rough sleepers; and
- Parking officers will apply discretion when issuing infringements, while protecting public health and safety.
Key initiatives to support businesses and workers include:
- A grants program for heavily impacted businesses;
- Suspension of health inspection fees and the refund of any fees paid since 1 April 2020;
- Free rent for most retail and small tenants of Council-owned properties for a period of six months;
- A free parking permit system to support essential workers and local businesses that continue to trade;
- Development of a business to consumer program in response to disrupted supply chains;
- An option for developers to defer up to 50 per cent of Section 7.11 payments;
- Hosting business resilience webinars and providing access to learning tools;
- Skills development support for those who have become unemployed or redeployed; and
- Ramping up the #LoveLivo support local campaign.
“We are working to ensure our community is supported and we can get through this difficult time together. We are focussing on measures to keep businesses going, people in jobs and ensuring community members receive financial assistance to get through to the other side,” Mayor Waller said.
“In line with the direction from the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, we’ll fast track certain Development Applications to stimulate the regional economy and keep people working.
“We will also seek funding from the NSW Government for a package of shovel-ready capital works projects which will support the arts and cultural sector, improve community services and public amenity through much-needed infrastructure.”
Mayor Waller also reiterated her call for the community to support one another.
“During this challenging time, I ask community members to be kind and look out for one another,” Mayor Waller said.
“Please help keep small businesses going by purchasing goods, services or gift cards from local stores online, or order takeaway from one of our many fantastic restaurants and cafes.
“Small businesses still open are encouraged to complete the relevant form on Council’s website and we’ll add them to our ‘Open for Business’ directory that will be promoted to the community. Businesses and the community are also encouraged to use #LoveLivo on social media to help spread the local love.”
Council has previously announced a host of measures to support those impacted by COVID-19, such as waiving outdoor café permit fees, making parking spaces available for essential workers, supporting the homeless and vulnerable through access to Council facilities and running a free webinar series to get local businesses online.
For up-to-date information on Council’s response to coronavirus, visit www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/coronavirus.