Council support packages

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White opens the Passion of the Pilbara festival in Onslow.
Camera IconShire of Ashburton president Kerry White opens the Passion of the Pilbara festival in Onslow. Credit: Shannon Beattie

The Shire of Ashburton council will vote on more than one million dollars worth of vital support packages to help residents and small businesses at a council meeting held last night.

The relief packages worth $1.5 million, would include a series of measures to help the Ashburton region during the pandemic, including putting a freeze on current rates.

Other measures included a reduction in interest rates on payment plans, deferring the collection of rates for several months and provide 12 months rent relief on leases to small businesses, community groups and clubs.

As part of the relief packages, a COVID-19 Small Business and Community Grants Fund of $250,000 would be created to assist small businesses and community groups experiencing financial hardship and loss due to the pandemic

Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said Shire staff were working on a series of models to form next year’s budget and taking into account ways the Shire could assist the community during the pandemic.

“We understand this is a stressful time for individuals and want to ease any financial implications and hardship that may develop in light of job losses, reduced operating and trading hours for businesses and further disruptions to everyday life,” Cr White said.

“I am also encouraging our community to support those local businesses that are still in operation.” Cr White said there had been great examples of local businesses altering their business model and delivering safe services to adhere to the restrictions in place.

“Ashburton has a strong, vibrant and connected comm-unity, and I urge all of our community members to consider those who may need assistance in the coming weeks,” she said.

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