Rockhampton Regional Council is rolling out $1.3 million relief package to support businesses and community groups in the area impacted by the coronavirus poandemic.
The package includes refunding lease fees for eligible sports and community groups, extending existing business licences for operations such as food vans until June 30, 2021, rent relief for commercial tenants, all Environmentally Relevant Authorities extended for a further 12 months and in-kind support for the business community from Advance Rockhampton.
As well, cash contributions of $20,000 will go to Capricorn Animal Aid and Central Queensland Animal Society and no additional interest will be charged on outstanding rates until the end of the year.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said council had to "put its shoulder to the wheel" to help the community where possible.
"The situation around COVID-19 is changing incredibly quickly and we know that our community is already feeling the economic impact of this pandemic," Councillor Strelow said.
"Our capacity to offer support is clearly different to other levels of government.
"I'm also very mindful that our rates are collected based on property value and regardless of income and that we need to think of the fairness of using ratepayer money - which includes money paid by pensioners and those struggling - to support business.
"However, we know that recovery for our community will be smoothest if we can help to keep our local businesses alive and keep people employed."
Cr Strelow said the measures were a first step and would apply immediately.
"There will also be a further economic stimulus package brought before the new Council, which will include a revised Rates Payment Policy," she said.
"We know our community is hurting and Council as an organisation will stand shoulder to shoulder with our residents during these tough times."
The RRC has closed public wet play areas and barbecues as part of its ongoing response to the coronavirus issue.
The closures affect the Riverside Precinct water jets and waterfall, Cedric Archer Park wet play area, Kershaw Gardens wet play area and all public barbecues.
For other on the COVID-19 situation in and around the Rockhampton visit www.rockhamptonregion.qld.gov.au