Homeowners in the Bega Valley Shire whose properties were destroyed in the past summer’s bushfires have had their rates paid by Services NSW.
Bega Valley Shire Council has written to affected ratepayers to advise that their third and fourth quarter rates have been paid by the NSW Government through Services NSW.
Councillors suspended new debt recovery action, removed account keeping fees, interest on overdue amounts, late and reminder fees, and resolved to support ratepayers to establish payment plans at last week’s council meeting.
The Bega Valley Shire Council general manager will now have the authority to negotiate and implement deferrals of rental payments for up to 12 months for tenants who can show financial hardship; freeze rental increases; and extend interest-free payment arrangements for up to 24 months.
Lease and licence fees for some council owned and managed land and buildings were also waived. Fees for premises for food, skin penetration and beauty therapy will be waived for the 2020-2021 financial year.
“The resilience and spirit of those impacted has been remarkable and inspiring,” said Council business and governance director Iliada Bolton.
“The support that has come from across the country and the world has been fantastic, providing much-needed momentum as we collectively embark on the recovery process,” said Ms Bolton.
She said the fires have presented huge challenges for all, but especially those who had lost properties.
“These payments will be reflected in the assessments moving forward and we hope this will provide those who have lost so much with a small boost in these extremely tough times,” said Ms Bolton.
To request further information about support arrangements, the Bega Valley Shire Council has asked people to email [email protected] or write to PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550.