10 February 2020
Bega Valley Shire Council this week resolved on a suite of measures to further support our community, especially those impacted during the ongoing bushfire disaster.
Key to this is the establishment of a detailed framework for minimising and waiving rates, fees and charges; and a formal commitment to further advocating for our community to the other levels of Government.
Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes, said this resolution again highlights and underlines our recognition of the widespread and devastating effect on our people, economy and environment and our ongoing commitment to doing everything we can to drive and provide all necessary support through the recovery phase.
“While the local community has displayed unbelievable resilience during the bushfire disaster it is vital that Council can provide a level of surety moving forward,” Ms Barnes said.
“It was certainly encouraging to see how readily the Councillors embraced the recommended relief measures and staff will now liaise directly with all impacted home owners, business owners and residents to ensure they are firstly aware of the measures and that necessary adjustments are made.
“We (Council) would also like to formally thank the NSW Government for their decision to provide rate relief for people that have lost their home or business in the fires.
“This will cover the full cost of Council rates for the third and fourth quarters of this financial year, with final details on the process for this and refunds for those who have paid to be provided shortly.
“The NSW Government has also waived applicable government fees, effective immediately, on all development applications related to dwellings damaged or destroyed including the BASIX Certificate fee and the Planning Reform Fund fee.
“We also note that further work is being done to progress a waiving by the NSW Government of the long service levy applied to development applications.
“We are in this together for the long haul and we want to reassure our community that we have your back,” Ms Barnes said.
The following Council rates, fees and charges will be waived (a 28-day exhibition period of these changes is now required):
Along with the direct assistance being offered above, Council will also be taking a number of advocacy steps:
Council is still imploring anyone who has been impacted by the fires in any way to register with the Recovery Centre to access these measures and all the other assistance available.
In our travels we have come across many people who feel they haven’t been as impacted as others and have expressed concerns about taking up services, however it is absolutely vital that the message gets out loud and clear that the support is available for everyone impacted (no matter the degree).
The home base for the Recovery Centre is the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre in Zingel Place Bega and is open from 10.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Saturday.
You can make contact on 6499 2345 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessing the mobile service is another option, especially for those living in our more remote areas.
The Mobile Recovery Outreach Service is open between 10.00am and 2.00pm on the following days:
If you still have questions or concerns, contact Council on (02) 6499 2222 or email email@example.com