At Tuesday night’s meeting, Mansfield Shire Council deferred its 2020 – 21 Budget until August.
Mansfield Shire Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said in light of the constantly changing situation with the pandemic, Council felt waiting to finalise it was prudent.
“The Victorian government has extended until the end of August the timeline by which councils need to have their budgets resolved,” Cr Attley said.
“Much could change in the meantime. Whether that be the local situation or the availability of more stimulus packages from the state and federal governments,” she said.
In addition to taking onboard the feedback from submissions, Council is aware of an independent assessment that shows Mansfield in the top 20% to top 40%* of most financially affected communities in Australia.
Taylor Fry, an Australian consulting business, has developed a COVID-19 Financial Impact Index which shows the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Australian population, relative to pre-pandemic levels.
“It shows how highly affected Mansfield has been. The submissions received made it clear that the community needs support for a longer period. We have provided this with the Rates Assistance program, which has been extended to 31 December,” she said.
The Rates Assistance program means interest will not be charged on overdue rates until 31 December 2020, Council has placed debt recovery on hold and ratepayers can set-up a payment plan that suits the ratepayer’s financial situation.
Cr Paul Sladdin and Cr Harry Westendorp were apologies for the meeting.
The 2020 – 2021 Budget, Rating Strategy and Council Plan will be considered at a Council meeting on 4 August.