The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately had meaningful financial impacts on local councils around the country. The NSW State Government have recently shown their support for the struggling areas, with an impressive $395 million economic stimulus package in an effort to protect jobs during the pandemic.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has said that the state's 128 local councils are a 'critical' part of the NSW economy, especially those in regional towns where they are sometimes the largest employer.
“This is about keeping people in jobs which will allow councils to continue to provide essential services in their communities throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and bounce back faster once we come out the other side.” Mr Perrottet said.
The NSW Government's local government economic stimulus package encompasses a $250 million increase in low-cost loans to eligible councils through the state's borrowing facility provided by TCorp. The investment is geared towards kick-starting community infrastructure projects.
The recently-announced increase brings this low-cost loan facility up to $1.35 billion for the benefit of communities and their councils.
Over the next six months, TCorp will also be offering interest and principal payment deferrals on existing council loans (upon request).
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said this comprehensive package safeguards valuable council jobs and ensures staff with a wide range of skills and experience can continue to serve their communities.
“This funding injection enables councils to redirect funds to critical core services and deliver much-needed financial support for local communities,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Importantly, this package builds on the NSW Government’s $82 million to support 260 council-run childcare centres and $25 million for local councils to rebuild and refurbish local showgrounds, bringing our total support for the local government sector to over half a billion dollars.”
- up to $112.5 million to support a Council Job Retention Allowance of $1500 per fortnight per employee to limit job losses in the NSW local government sector. The allowance will be paid for up to three months to qualifying staff working in the NSW local government sector
- $32.8 million to assist councils meet the cost of the FY2020/21 increase in the Emergency Services Levy.
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