The Shire is committed to supporting the community by recognising challenges may result in financial hardship for some ratepayers. 

Support available

A range of options are available to support eligible residents and businesses with their rates and service fee charges, including outstanding rates from 2021-22 and include:

  • Rates payment plans
  • Rates payment due date extension
  • Deferral of waiving of Shire charges (e.g. licensing and inspection fees, sign fees)
  • Fast tracking of payments (if you are a supplier to the Shire)
  • Other (applicant suggestions will be considered).

Financial hardship criteria

We recognise that not all circumstances are alike and will take a flexible approach to a range of individual circumstances including, but not limited to, the following situations:

  • Recent unemployment or under-employment
  • Low income or loss of income
  • Business ratepayers that meet Federal Government criteria for financial support
  • Sickness or recovery from sickness
  • Unanticipated circumstances such as caring for and supporting extended family suffering health or hardship.

How to apply

Please complete the relevant form below and submit it to the Shire, in person, by post or email to [email protected]

Processing of applications

After an application is lodged:

  1. The application and supporting documentation will be registered upon receipt
  2. The application will be forwarded to the Manager Corporate Performance or delegate for assessment
  3. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours of lodgement
  4. Shire staff on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer will contact applicants within 21 days of the outcome of the application including reasons why the application has been either accepted or rejected and the options available from that point forward.

Frequently asked questions

Increases may apply to properties where their property status has changed during the year, such as additions, improvements, new dwellings, demolition of atructures, or approvals granted for tourism uses etc.

The Annual Rate notices are issued in August with Option 1 (first instalment) or Option 2 (full amount) payment due date in September.
 

Where Option 1 or Option 2 payments haven’t been received by the due date or a special arrangement hasn’t been established then the Shire will issue a Final Notice in October with a payment due date in November.

If an application under the Hardship Policy is successful it will mean the property assessments will be exempt from Penalty Interest and Instalment Administration and Interest Fees for the current financial year. 
 

Ratepayers that have been approved under Financial Hardship Policy:

  • No penalty interest 
  • No instalment interest 
  • No instalment admin fee 
  • No special arrangement admin fee.

 

Ratepayers that have not been approved under Financial Hardship Policy:

  • 7% penalty interest, as adopted by Council 
  • 3% instalment interest, as adopted by Council 
  • 3x $8.00 instalment admin fee, as adopted by Council
  • Special arrangement admin fee, as adopted by Council (not applicable).

Residential and commercial businesses can apply.
 

Ratepayers who aren’t able to pay Option 1 or Option 2 will be encouraged to enter into a special arrangement to clear the rates by the end of the current financial year. 
 

If you are experiencing financial difficulty you can make an application to the Shire for consideration of financial assistance by way of no penalty interest and no instalment administration fees or interest charges. 

Each application will be assessed on its merits and on a case by case basis. Shie staff may contact you to clarify or obtain additional information relevant to your application. 
 

While evidence of hardship will be required, the Shire recognises that not all circumstances are alike. The Shire will take a flexible approach to a range of individual circumstances including, but not limited to, the following situations:

  • Recent unemployment or under-employment
  • Sickness or recovery from sickness
  • Low income or loss of income
  • Unanticipated circumstances such as caring for and supporting extended family suffering health or hardship. 

In the first instance, the Shire will seek to implement an agreed payment plan for all applicants. 
 

All applicants must clearly identify any extenuating circumstances affecting their ability to meet their financial obligation. 
 

Businesses are also eligible under similar criteria.

All applications will be acknowledge in 2 business days. 
 

Applications will take up to 21 days for the Shire to consider all the information. Further evidence may be requested to assist in the determination of the application.

You will need to submit an objection form containing additional information in support of your application.

The Shire will give due consideration to suspending recovery of outstanding debts by way of negotiating a suitable payment arrangement with debtors.
 

Where a debtor is unable to make payments in accordance with the agreed payment plan and the debtor advises the Shire and makes an alternative plan before defaulting, the Shire will then continue to suspend debt recovery processes. 
 

Where a ratepayer has not reasonably adhered to the agreed payment plan, then for any Rates and Service Charge debts that remain outstanding will then be subject to the rates debt recovery procedures prescribed in the Local Government Act 1995.

The following agencies and financial institutions may be able to help you. 
 

Agencies

 

Financial institutions 
 

Most financial institutions will consider hardship variations, however different institution criteria may apply, in general if you are finding it hard to meet your loan repayments because of a temporary illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, you should contact your lender for a hardship variation which changes the terms of your loan.
 

Most lenders have Hardship Department that can assist you:

 

If you are having problems negotiating with your lender, contact Australian Financial Complaints Authority to discuss a free external dispute resolution scheme.

More information and contact

More information is provided in the policy below:

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