Port Lincoln Council adopts Financial Hardship Policy

Port Lincoln City Council is providing support for people, businesses and organisations going through financial difficulties due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation the council has adopted a Financial Hardship Policy, which will allow people, businesses or organisations experiencing financial hardship to postpone payment of rates or enter into an alternate payment arrangement without penalty.

Council chief executive officer Stephen Rufus said the policy would allow an arrangement to tailor something to a person or business' needs.

He said if people did not enter the policy there would not be additional fees or interest added during the quarterly period from April 1 to June 30, to be reviewed in June based on the current situation and the community impact.

"We do encourage people to apply under the Financial Hardship Policy so we can work with individuals under their situation because different people or businesses have different situations that they are working through," he said.

"If you are in hardship, if you make a small payment, no matter what it is, it will decrease the amount that will be postponed for future payments."

Other support includes the council remitting general rates, with the exception of Waste and Recycling Service charges, for community groups and organisation for the fourth quarter of 2019/20.

Commercial leasers of council property, such as the Lincoln Cinema, will also have their commercial lease fees waived for the quarter, up to 100 per cent depending on the extent of commercial activity.

Mr Rufus said any ratepayers who had questions about the Financial Hardship Policy and how to apply should contact the office, preferably by phone or email so staff could help them.

"We encourage people who can pay rates to do so, which will ensure council can operate with cash flow so we can continue to provide services to the community."