Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

$800,000 business support package from council

BALLINA Shire Council has announced a business package to support local business and residents during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This package was presented in a Mayoral Minute to the March 26 council meeting, received unanimous support.

The package includes:

Interest rate on overdue rates and charges: The current rate is 7.5 per cent and will decrease this rate to zero for the period from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, a period of 15 months.

Community Facility Hire Fees: Refund of bookings.

Flat Rock Tent Park: Refund of bookings.

Northern Rivers Community Gallery: Three month fee waiver for exhibition and Ignite Studio Tenants.

Commercial use of footpaths: No fees for a period of 15 months from April 1 to June 30, 2021 to allow businesses to re-establish when they open.

Community groups: Tenancy rental relief for Lennox Head Community Sports and Recreation Club and Ballina Hockey Club for 15 months.

Commercial Surf Schools: 50 per cent waiver on annual licence fees for 2020/21.

Parking fines: Focus on education and information for the period to June 30, 2020, with fines only issued for safety, health and disability access reasons.

Health inspections (food, skin penetration etc) and public pool inspections: Waive registration and inspection fees for the period April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

Market fees, including farmers markets: Waive fees for period April 1 to September 30.

Ferry casual fees: Casual fees for the Burns Point Ferry have been waived until June 30, 2020.

Commercial Tenants: Provide significant rental relief for our commercial tenants in the Wigmore Arcade and other council-owned facilities.

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport: Provide significant rental relief for the operators in the airport.

Further details will be provided in the coming days and made available on council’s website, or on the phone on 1300 864 444.

Mayor David Wright said the package is estimated to provide $800,000 in financial relief across a range of rent, fees and charges.

“We all have a role to play in supporting our community and I am pleased council is in a position to offer some financial relief to struggling businesses,” he said.

“We understand some ratepayers would like to see their rates and charges waived across the board. This would have considerable financial implications and council is not in a financial position to offer this to residents.

“However, under this relief package, ratepayers who cannot pay their rates will not be charged interest on late payments for 15 months until June 30, 2021.”