The health of our community, Council's employees and volunteers is Golden Plains Shire Council's top priority. On this page you will find information and links on Council's COVID-19 support package, changes to Council's services, Council's COVID-19 Community Assistance Directory, the Be Kind Golden Plains campaign, and where to find information on Coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID-19 Council Support
In June 2020, Council resolved to allocate an additional $100,000 in financial support for ratepayers and residents experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 26 August 2020, Council extended its COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, giving significant relief for local residents and businesses.
Council approved the following additional measures on 2020/21 rates payments:
- Extension of interest waived on overdue rates from 30 September 2020 to 30 June 2021
- Support customer applications for:
- Deferring payment of rates to 30 June 2021
- Waiving a maximum of $500 off rates at principal place of residence to customers receiving JobSeeker as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Waiving a maximum of $500 off rates on businesses receiving JobKeeper payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Waiving $100 off rates on properties for customers who can demonstrate 30% or more reduction in income
- Continued suspension of debt recovery action from 30 September 2020 to 30 June 2021
In April 2020, Golden Plains Shire Council established its COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, confirming a package of financial relief options for local residents and businesses to support the Golden Plains community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With State and Federal Governments taking the lead on major financial measures including the new Jobkeeper and increased Jobseeker programs to keep regular income coming in to households, Council has reviewed a variety of measures to alleviate the pressure of upcoming payments while still maintaining its delivery of important community services and its responsibilities as a significant local employer.
In its original COVID-19 Hardship Policy, Council delivered the following COVID-19 related relief measures:
Ratepayers and residents experiencing financial hardship
- Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for Golden Plains Shire Council ratepayers
- Suspension of all current debt recovery action for unpaid 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020
- Waive interest on overdue 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020
- Waive penalties for late payment on pet registration fees through to 30 September 2020 (note: pets must still be registered by 10 April 2020)
- New payment plans available for animal registration renewals
- Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for local businesses
- Commitment to pay invoices from all local businesses within 14 days to support cash flow
- Extension of time applications for business-related septic tank and planning permits expiring before 30 September 2020 can be lodged at no cost
- Refund of all permit fees for events and activities that have been cancelled or closed as directed by Government
- New allowance for commercial businesses to reduce their waste collection arrangements if necessary
- Free mentoring support for small businesses experiencing hardship
- Free promotion of local businesses on Council’s website and social media with Be Kind to Business campaign
- Dedicated COVID-19 business support page on Council's website with links to Federal and State Government programs
- Access to dedicated business support officer within Council for local businesses to receive individual assistance
Council will continue budgeted capital works as scheduled to maximise local business and employment opportunities
Changes to Council's services, operations and events
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Golden Plains Shire Council has implemented a number of changes to its operations to reduce the risks to residents, staff and volunteers.
As the situation evolves, further changes will be posted on Council’s website and social media, with weekly updates on the Council News page in the Golden Plains Times. For any questions, please call Customer Service at 5220 7111.
Community Assistance Directory
Golden Plains Shire Council’s Community Assistance Directory is a guide for local community members to find information on the support services available during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Council continues to deliver its many community services across the Shire and we encourage residents to seek the support of the services in the directory, as needed.
Be Kind Golden Plains
Golden Plains Shire is joining the Be Kind campaign, started by its Central Highlands Council partner City of Ballarat. The Be Kind Golden Plains campaign is all about bringing people together in spirit and encouraging kindness and support during the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. Visit the Be Kind Golden Plains webpage for information on community, Council and Government initiatives to keep one another connected and safe during these difficult times.
Information on COVID-19
With a lot of attention in the media and online on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), residents may be unsure where to get the most up-to-date information from the health authorities.
The Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services has information and guidance on the current outbreak of coronavirus, which will be updated as the situation evolves. You can access this information and guidance at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus(link is external).
The Department has also prepared information on ways to reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus. One of the best things residents can do every day to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus is to practice excellent hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette. Residents can source information, including posters at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.
If you have concerns about your health, it's best to contact your GP, or if you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep 000 for emergencies only.
Residents who have recently returned from overseas can also find information and advice at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.