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Swift assistance with approval of Economic and Social Recovery Plan

29/05/2020

Georges River Council’s Economic and Social Recovery Plan has been approved by Council at the May 25 Council meeting.

The plan is made up of three key phases in response to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses and the community at large, and complements packages being rolled out by the State and Federal governments.

Phase 1 ‘Immediate Support’ actions have already been implemented to support businesses and the community, including a business support program, #WeAreInThisTogether campaign and the waiving or reduction of fees and charges.

Support was also provided for Georges River Health Care workers including free parking, the Coffee On Us program and backing of the Adopt a Health Care Work program ($15,000).

Council also offered the use of its sites for COVID-19 testing ($54,000) and provision of ($17,000). We moved to increase online learning and digital programs for libraries and gallery exhibitions ($45,000) and provided free reservation of spaces at its childcare centres ($50,000).

Phase 2 includes actions which will help the community prepare for the revival of Georges River both economically and socially as restrictions ease, such as a Recovery Grants and Sponsorship Program valued at $200,000 which reimagines the current program in order to support the LGA’s recovery.

There is also a strong focus on key capital works with an estimated value of $41.8 million which will stimulate the local economy and improve public domain, including Stage 2 of the Penshurst Sporting Hub, Hurstville Oval Players Pavilion, and the remediation of the former Oatley Bowling Club.

Council will actively pursue government grant opportunities to assist with a targeted program of ‘shovel-ready’ projects, and assign a dedicated officer to focus on injecting more commercial floor space into key town centres.

We are providing specialised planning advice ($10,000) and translated material in community languages for food safety and COVID restrictions ($2,000).

Council will promote its Buy Local program for local contracts at an estimated cost of $600,000, and a deep cleansing program is to be carried out in six key town centres at a cost of $100,000.

Other initiatives include outdoor dining licence fee exemptions, reduction in DA fees for commercial fitouts for a period of six months, faster payment for local suppliers and waiving library fees and fines, and providing a dedicated concierge service to triage customer enquiries related to COVID-19.

Phase 3 ‘Discover Georges River’ will celebrate the relaunch of the city, with a series of events and activations, supported by a budget of $400,000, and branding and marketing to encourage residents, visitors and investors to discover the potential of Georges River.

Council will host a ‘Saluting Service’ event for healthcare workers when conditions
allow it.
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