Rate interest freeze while local COVID-19 recovery group work on relief packages
Douglas Shire Council will provide immediate relief to ratepayers by freezing interest on rates and working on further relief packages after the 2020 Local Government Elections which are on Saturday 28 March.
A local recovery group, approved yesterday by the Douglas Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), will monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and investigate ways to provide further relief to businesses and residents in the Douglas Shire.
The group will include two committees – Economic Recovery Group; and Social and Human Recovery Group – with the view of providing a safety net for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Stoermer, who will chair the Economic Recovery Group, said they would discuss further measures that complement existing relief packages released by the Federal and State governments.
“We want to give the community assurance that we are here for you,” he said.
“While we have no case locally in Douglas Shire yet, we are already seeing a real impact of COVID-19 through strict, but necessary social distancing measures.
“These recovery groups will have us well placed to take care of our residents and business sector.
“I want to commend the many local businesses, particularly in Port Douglas, who have adapted appropriately by offering takeaway and delivery services.”
Council is supporting local food businesses looking for alternative ways to continue operating during the current restrictions on businesses, as well as providing an important service to the community in social isolation.
The Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, and other key stakeholders will be invited.
Recovery Group coordinator Terry Farrelly encouraged residents to look out for their loved ones and vulnerable members of the community.
“Reach out to your neighbours and check in on your fellow community members from time to time to offer support, shopping or a listening ear,” he said.
“Now more than ever is time to support your community by buying local, getting a takeaway meal from our many cafés and restaurants, supporting local businesses, retail outlets, hairdressers, buying local art and craft or volunteering your time to our many community and sporting groups,” Mr Farrelly said.
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