City to aid community

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany deputy mayor Greg Stocks.
Camera IconCity of Albany deputy mayor Greg Stocks. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser Picture: Laurie Benson

The City of Albany council has voted unanimously to help relieve pressure on local families and businesses facing the financial devastation of the COVID-19 crisis.

In an urgent motion brought to the council on Tuesday, councillors voted to delegate authority to City executive staff to defer, discount or suspend fees and charges, including licensing and leasing fees.

The motion noted each application would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and did not extend to writing off debt owed.

The council also voted to waive interest on unpaid debt.

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Councillors acknowledged the important role of local government to support the community as the crisis wreaked global havoc.

Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks moved the motion, noting the crisis was likely to last for six months and the council had to do all it could to help the community.

“These are pretty turbulent times for everybody and what protocols we had in the past we are going to need to be flexible, show some compassion,” Cr Stocks said.

“Five weeks ago there was no way we would have been considering this but when you look at the queues at Centrelink ... we need to play our part too.”

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