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Lending a helping hand to ratepayers

22/04/2021

The Georges River Council has provided support for some of the most vulnerable members of our community who have suffered hardship during the pandemic.
 
Owner-occupier pensioner ratepayers currently receive a $250 rate rebate and further support for pensioners was introduced in July 2020 when Council updated its Debt Management and Hardship Policy in response to the pandemic.
 
Under this policy, eligible pensioners are able to:

  • pay deferred rates completely interest-free via monthly instalments

  • defer rate payments without any penalty interest, until the sale of the property.

The waiving of the penalty interest is significant as the current interest rate charged is 7%, as set by the NSW Government.
 
The hardship application process has also received excellent feedback due to its ease of use and timeliness of approval. 
 
The new approach for the payment of rates has been so successful that the number of outstanding rate payments by pensioners declined during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Georges River Mayor Kevin Greene said, “With a balanced approach, we are providing a record saving, up to $350 a year, for pensioner ratepayers facing financial challenges”.
 
“Maintaining our council’s financial sustainability is our responsibility, supporting our residents and businesses is our duty. This is why we work to step up and expand the options available to our community with our hardship support program.
 
There are currently around 8,000 eligible pensioners in Georges River. Since the COVID-19 global pandemic, the number of pensioners with outstanding debts has decreased by 5%.   
 
Council will consider at its meeting on 26 April 2021 a proposal to further expand hardship support to residential ratepayers receiving the Federal Assistance ‘Job Seeker’ payment.
 
For eligibility, please visit Georges River Council - Rebates for pensioners (nsw.gov.au)
 
For more information on Georges River Council, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.
 
 

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