Fees waived to support businesses impacted by COVID-19

Council will waive fees and charges totalling more than $1 million for the 2020-2021 financial year to help support businesses impacted by COVID-19 social restrictions.

An ordinary meeting of council today agreed to waiving fees and charges as part of council’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Policy.

It includes waiving food business licence and rental accommodation fees in a variety of categories for 2020-2021, as well as some other fees, in recognition of the major impact on businesses and individuals.

Other categories not covered can apply to council for consideration of waiving of fees or partial assistance if they can demonstrate financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

Today’s meeting also adopted a schedule of cost recovery fees and charges for 2020-2021, with most frozen at 2019-2020 levels, unless beyond control of council.

Mayor Greg Williamson said stage one of business support measures were flagged during March when council was in caretaker mode.

He said now the newly elected council was in place council’s plans to help assist the community with recovery could formally be put in place.

“We’ve taken the first steps today by adopting a schedule of fees and charges for next financial year – the majority of which remain frozen at the current levels – and an assistance policy.

“The policy is only part of the community assistance council will provide to help with COVID-19 impacts and relates only to fees and charges levied by council.

“There will be further measures in the 2020-2021 budget, which is due to be adopted by council next month.”

Business support measures at a glance

The following annual licence renewal fees for 2020-20201 will be totally waived in recognition of the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and individuals in these areas:

1. Food Business Licences in the following categories

  • Accommodation meals
  • Beverage manufacturer/bottler
  • Café/restaurant
  • Child care centre
  • Home-based business
  • Mobile food vehicle/premises
  • Off-site catering
  • On-site catering
  • School canteen
  • Temporary food business

2. Rental accommodation licences in the following categories

  • Bed and breakfast
  • Backpacker/hostel
  • Hotels
  • Motels

3. Caravan parks licences
4. Footpath trading approval licence
5. Mobile roadside vending (itinerant) and (static) licence
6. Public swimming pools licence
7. Skin penetration registration licence
8. Backflow prevention device fee

Council will also consider waiving fees or providing partial assistance for the following licence types and categories if the licence holder makes application and demonstrates financial hardship:

1. Food Business Licences in the following categories

  • Aged care facility
  • Bakery/patisserie
  • Deli
  • Food manufacturer/packer
  • Food shop/corner store
  • Fruit and vegetable processing
  • Honey food business
  • Hospital
  • Supermarket
  • Takeaway
  • Water carrier

2. Approval to discharge trade waste to sewer for five categories

Estimated costs of waiving renewal licence fees and charges in 2020-2021 is:

1. Food licences – $170,000
2. Other licences – $180,00
3. Backflow – $225,000
4. Trade waste – $465,000

Total: $1,040,000