Mansfield Shire Council is waiving registration fees for businesses in the Shire and in the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort in several fee categories this year.
Mansfield Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said Council resolved to waive the fees as part of its Budget for 2020-21 to both acknowledge the significant impact on business of the coronavirus and to support these businesses.
“The business owners and operators are members of our community and many provide employment to others, so Council felt this was one way we could show that we recognise the difficult situation many of them are in,” Cr Attley said.
Socrates Pilipasidis, President of the Mt Buller Chamber of Commerce said he was pleased that Council had acted to help.
“In the situation we find ourselves in, any assistance is greatly appreciated. Most operators will finish the season not having made any money this year. Unlike other businesses that will be able to open again after lockdown, ours are not going to make any income this year,” Mr Pilipasidis said.
“Everything is going to be difficult for businesses now, but especially on the mountain as the resort is closed, therefore no-one is allowed into the resorts. We can go to Mansfield for things, but Mansfield people can’t come here,” he said.
“A lot of people in business here don’t know how they are going to get by over the next couple of months. Everyone’s just doing their numbers now.
“In a usual season, Mt Buller businesses employ about 1350 people, so there is a big flow on effect too.”
Cr Attley said the fees being waived apply to the renewal of registrations issued under the Food Act and the Public Health & Wellbeing Act for 2021 and will cover the next season.
“We administer these registrations and fees both for Shire and resort businesses. Registering to provide accommodation usually costs $219, registering a food premises ranges in price from $184 to $510 depending on the size of the business and the type of activity they undertake and for registering a premises associated with skin penetration or hair dressing the fee is $151,” she said.
“Businesses will still need to complete the forms to meet legislated requirements, but Council will waive the fees to provide some contribution to helping these businesses to continue.”
Mr Pilipasidis said the Mt Buller Chamber of Commerce is meeting on Thursday where many business owners and operators will be happy to hear this news.
“Every little bit helps,” he said.
Fees will also be waived for 12 months for local laws permits for businesses and trading,
hire of Council facilities, the community shopping bus and permits for works within a road reserve.
Council will extend existing rate payment assistance arrangements to 31 December 2020. This includes a waiver of interest incurred on outstanding rates from 16 March 2020, a hold on debt recovery procedures for outstanding rates, and the opportunity to request a payment plan or payment deferral arrangement.
For more details, please contact Council on (03) 5775 8555.