Rates freeze to help Harvey residents

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter

The Harvey Shire Council has released a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan to help combat the financial burden brought by the pandemic.

Councillors voted in favour of freezing rates at the council meeting last week, following the Waroona Shire Council’s decision to freeze rates for ratepayers.

There will be a zero per cent increase on rates for the 2020-21 financial year and no increases to non-statutory fees and charges.

Harvey shire president Paul Gillett said the council had adopted a COVID-19 financial hardship policy to ensure adequate support was offered to ratepayers.

“We understand this has been an extremely hard time for the community and we want to support all members of our community with respect and understanding,” Cr Gillett said.

The administration fee for rates paid in instalments has also been removed.

Cr Craig Carbone had initially raised the motion to freeze rates at the council meeting in March, however the motion was lost.

A requirement to receive further information from council officers in regards to the financial impact of COVID-19 was sought.

Cr Bill Adams then raised a motion at the council briefing session in April to put rates back on the agenda.

He withdrew the motion last week as the decision to freeze rates had already been determined earlier in the meeting.

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