COVID come­back

FRE­MAN­TLE’S PLAN TO BOOST SPEND­ING

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Adam Poulsen

THE City of Fre­man­tle will con­sider ways of cut­ting red tape to boost in­vest­ment in the city and help the com­mu­nity re­cover from the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Coun­cil­lors voted at last month’s meet­ing to adopt a COVID-19 re­cov­ery plan to help with short term so­cial and eco­nomic re­cov­ery.

The plan in­cor­po­rated the rec­om­men­da­tions of three in­ter­nal work­ing groups es­tab­lished by the coun­cil in April.

One of the plan’s ob­jec­tives is to “de­ter­mine which of its own levers the city can pull to ex­pe­dite out­comes”, such as park­ing, fees, charges and plan­ning.

It would do this by re­view­ing “op­por­tu­ni­ties to tem­po­rar­ily ad­dress rel­e­vant dis­cre­tionary plan­ning con­di­tions that may be pre­sent­ing some chal­lenges for po­ten­tial in­vestors in the post-pan­demic en­vi­ron­ment”.

An­other initiative is to cre­ate a more com­pet­i­tive park­ing en­vi­ron­ment via

“in­cen­tives” and “de­mand­based pric­ing”.

The City would also pro­vide as­sis­tance in ac­cess­ing sup­port re­quired to scale busi­nesses back up.

It would do so through the de­vel­op­ment of a busi­ness and in­vestor concierge ser­vice to “sim­plify and sup­port pos­i­tive and timely en­gage­ment with City ser­vices and pro­cesses”.

Other sug­ges­tions in­cluded cre­at­ing a dig­i­tal plat­form for artists to sell their work dur­ing times of re­stricted travel and so­cial dis­tanc­ing, and pro­vid­ing a $50,000 grass roots arts grants pro­gram.

So­cial ini­tia­tives in­cluded de­vel­op­ing a fi­nan­cial hard­ship pol­icy in re­sponse to “in­creased in­stances of fi­nan­cial stress”, and to ex­plore ways to re­duce the “dig­i­tal di­vide” for those at risk of iso­la­tion and un­able to ac­cess on­line ser­vices.

The coun­cil also passed a se­ries of com­mu­nity re­cov­ery bud­get amend­ments to in­crease fund­ing for sev­eral ini­tia­tives.

An ex­tra $20,000 will be spent sup­port­ing com­mu­nity groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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