Late motion calls for action on COVID-19 impacts
Published on 19 March 2020
A notice of motion from City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten will call on the Council to develop a Community Care and Recovery Package for Launceston businesses negatively impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Councillors will discuss the motion, which has been introduced as a late addition to the agenda at today's ordinary Council meeting from 1pm in the Town Hall Reception Room.
In his motion, Mayor van Zetten has outlined a number of elements of his proposed community package, including:
- provision for rates relief for businesses impacted by possible closure as a result of the pandemic
- the development of a rates hardship policy
- fees and charges relief for businesses, community groups, sporting clubs etc., to assist in managing their response and recovery to the pandemic
- the development of provisions for a one-off special grant to support business innovation, including a focus on the development of online services
- support for vulnerable members of the community
- negotiated rent relief for the use of Council facilities
- support for cancelled events to retain grand funding and re-planning of events.
"The City of Launceston is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic," Mayor van Zetten said
"There will be further impacts across our community.
"In addition to the health repercussions associated with the virus, there are already impacts being felt by small businesses, which will have flow-on effects to employment and small business."
In his notice of motion, Mayor van Zetten said that along with other levels of government, the City of Launceston is actively working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
"(An) important role for the three levels of government is to contribute to the rapid and confident recovery of individuals, communities and services," Mayor van Zetten said.
"I believe that there is a role for Local Government in achieving this. To this effect, I am proposing that the Council agree to a Community Care and Recovery Package, which would aim to assist our community to both manage and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
"The Council's Chief Executive Officer has held discussions with other Northern Tasmanian council general managers and there seems to be interest in approaching a recovery package on a regional basis."
If the motion is supported, the Council - in collaboration with neighbouring councils - will develop the package, which will be brought back to the Councillors for approval.