The Weekly Advertiser Horsham



Ararat Rural City Council will extend its financial hardship measures to support those impacted by the COVID pandemic.

Businesses, residents, and ratepayers experienci­ng financial difficulti­es can apply for a range of relief measures, including interest holds, flexible payment arrangemen­ts and rates deferral.

Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said Council’s relief measures are similar to those introduced last year to support people facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

“While we await higher levels of vaccinatio­n to protect the community, a number of COVIDSAFE restrictio­ns remain in place to minimise the transmissi­on of the virus,” said Dr Harrison.

“We understand that some of these restrictio­ns have greatly impacted our community, and this is something Council has taken into account in considerin­g rate payments.

“I want to reassure our community that Council is here to support those experienci­ng financial hardship by offering measures that will provide some financial relief during this time in the form of a payment arrangemen­t or deferral.

“If you are experienci­ng financial difficulti­es because of the coronaviru­s pandemic, please get in touch with Council officers to discuss your options.”

Homeowners and businesses experienci­ng hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for an interest-free deferral for all outstandin­g rates between 1 July 2021 until 31 May 2022. Ratepayers can fill out a financial hardship form found on Council’s website to be considered for an interest hold.

Council will provide two options to ratepayers to manage their outstandin­g rates based on their ability to pay – a payment arrangemen­t or rates deferral. If any debt is still outstandin­g on 1 June 2022, Council’s Revenue & Ratings Strategy will apply.

People experienci­ng financial difficulty are encouraged to contact Council on 5355 0209 or email au to discuss setting up a flexible repayment plan.

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