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Council Endorse A Number Of Business Support Measures In Special Meeting

This morning Gympie Regional Council endorsed a number of support measures for local businesses.

At this morning’s Special Meeting, councillors unanimously supported to extend the discount period and due date for any unpaid commercial rates to 9 July 2020.

Interest will also be extended for a three-month period. Fees and charges may also be amended, reduced or waived where considered a necessary and appropriate response to the COVID-19 situation.

Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith said the measure would be a “small step, but important first step in helping those in the community hit the hardest.”

“This situation is evolving every day,” said Mr Smith.

“Extending rates to businesses means it is one expense operators do not have to worry about for the moment.

“We estimate this move by council will leave about $3 million in the local economy over the period,” he said.

Council also noted a report regarding the organisation’s business continuity plan.

The plan provided councillors with an over view of essential services and how they are being carried out.

“In many ways it is business as usual for large parts of the organisation,” said Mr Smith.

“The community should feel secure in the fact council staff are working extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure your essential services are maintained.

“Like the entire world, our community is facing a rapidly unfolding and changing situation.

"Council is remaining flexible in its response.” He said. 

A message from Councillor Shane Waldock - Wednesday, 16 September 2020 A message from Councillor Shane Waldock - Wednesday, 16 September 2020

It is hard to believe that your current Council was elected only five-and-a-half months ago, and although I feel we have achieved a lot, I understand that sometimes looking in, it may not look like it. Six months ago, I was one of those in the community trying to understand exactly how Council runs.

One particular subject I find of importance is understanding and accepting the true life-long costs of infrastructure and assets.

For example, the initial purchase of a car (say $20k) is the cheap part. It’s the overheads of maintenance/servicing, operational costs of registration, insurance, fuel and depreciation that could have that car’s life-long costings skywards of $60k.

This also applies to Council. With assets, whether we build or buy, we need to ask the question; can we afford this and is it good use of the council budget?
We have to get these basics right, so our community does not have to pay for these mistakes well into the future.

We need to take the time to ensure our decisions are right for our residents. We cannot rush into things and as much as I’d like to see some projects completed yesterday, some things will just take time.   
Our new CEO is ensuring we are kept well informed so the right decisions are made, and although I wish I could share with the community everything that we are informed on, with the new laws, legislation and triple C rules, we’re not always able to. I do understand why and the importance but there are times I wish I could share more with our residents.

Being a councillor is a privilege and I’m honoured that I get to serve and represent our community. As a fourth generation, born and bred local – I’m sure my family and my ancestors would be proud that I continue to do my part to ensure our community is the best in Australia - it’s an absolute honour to serve the region of my heart and soul. My beautiful region of Gympie.

Councillor Shane Waldock