Council’s draft budget prioritises relief and recovery

Under Knox City Council’s proposed 2020-21 Budget, a further $3 million will be invested in focused initiatives to lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognising the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the proposed budget provides for a range of relief measures and resources to support recovery of the local community and economy, while still maintaining a longer term focus on the goals captured in the Community and Council Plan.

Following its initial support package announced in March 2020, the $3 million additional investment will fund new initiatives to support people in need, stimulate local industry and economy, and boost business and community-led recovery activities.

Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Nicole Seymour said the proposed budget had been prepared during what are still very uncertain times, and needed to strike a balance between maintaining Council’s core services and its crucial role in managing and responding to COVID-19.

‘As we begin to plan for life after the pandemic, this budget acknowledges the need to shift our focus towards implementing stimulus projects and driving community recovery, all with an eye to a healthy, safe and prosperous long term outlook for the Knox community,’ said Cr Seymour.

Construction and improvement of local infrastructure will be a critical stimulus for the recovery of the local economy. The budget proposes a 2% rate increase in order to fund relief and recovery measures, continue delivering essential services and complete long term projects.

Mayor Cr Seymour said Council also updated its Payment Assistance Policy to broaden arrangements for households and businesses experiencing financial hardship.

‘This modest increase in rates will provide relief where it is needed most but we’re acutely aware of the extra burden any increase in rates might have for some people, so we’ve expanded arrangements to support anyone experiencing financial hardship,” Cr Seymour said.

Council endorsed the draft 2020-21 Budget at its April meeting and now invites comment from members of the community.

Budget documents will be available for inspection on Council’s website, and submissions can be made online or in writing, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer. Submissions close at 5pm, Tuesday 26 May with a submissions hearing to be held on Monday 1 June if required.

More on Knox Council’s response to COVID-19 here.

For more information on the proposed budget, and to have your say, visit the Knox Council website here.

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