Support measures for community groups, service providers and local businesses will be extended to offer ongoing relief and respond to changing needs as restrictions ease and community life is reactivated.
The measures recognise the continuing, immediate impacts of the pandemic and offer support to the organisations providing relief to the community, as well as looking to the future and preparing to reinvigorate local groups, events and the local economy.
Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said that while restrictions are easing, many are still in need of urgent support.
“We know that mental health, social isolation and pressure on finances are just some of the areas where our community has seen the greatest effects of the pandemic, but understanding the impacts of COVID-19 is an ongoing task and changes continually,” said Cr Cooper.
“We’re responding to the pandemic by implementing relief measures and supporting those most at risk now, while also planning for our recovery and building resilience into the future.
“Since the start of the pandemic more than 18 months ago, Council has invested more than $3 million in support and relief measures and we’ll continue to consider how best to support the local community as restrictions ease and needs change.”
$79,000 will be allocated to a new program of community grants, supporting ongoing demand for food relief and emergency relief services.
A further $40,000 will fund training and mentoring programs for local businesses, and more than $66,000 in grants will fund community-based arts and culture pop-ups, events and installations to support creative and cultural organisations who have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
In addition, hire agreement, license and lease fees for not-for-profit community organisations will be waived until the end of 2021, and pro-rata charges will apply for sporting club tenancies from January 2022, providing greater flexibility as the guidelines and timeframes for community sport become clearer in the coming weeks.