CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran head an emergency council meeting over the pandemic today.
CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran head an emergency council meeting over the pandemic today.

Council targets business costs in COVID-19 fight

CUTTING or eliminating business costs and a “shop local” campaign are some of the ideas Gympie Regional Council will consider today as it works to keep the region afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These measures will be discussed at an emergency meeting of the council, called by incumbent Mayor Mick Curran only four days before the council election.

The public meeting will be live-streamed on the council’s Facebook page due to the new social distancing laws.

MORE COVID-19 NEWS

“We really encourage community members who wish to listen to the discussion of councillors to not attend as unfortunately we will not have seats available, and we do not wish to have to send people away,” a council spokeswoman said.

Council’s chambers will be rearranged to comply with social distancing.
Council’s chambers will be rearranged to comply with social distancing.

“However, the reality is, due to the social distancing rules, we will have no choice.”

CEO Bernard Smith said capital works projects could also play a part in fighting unemployment caused by the pandemic.

“We’re also looking at our capital works program with an emphasis on projects with a high employment and local content in order to support local employment,” he said.

Fees and charges for cancelled events will be refunded.

“Local government does not have the same capability as state and federal governments and the banking sector to tangibly and immediately impact on the business sector,” the spokeswoman said.

The meeting starts at 9am and will be live-streamed.
The meeting starts at 9am and will be live-streamed.

“However council can still play a role in mitigating the impact not only in the near future but importantly when the recovery commences.

“It should be noted that Council already has the ability to be very flexible with businesses having difficulty paying their rates and this flexibility will be amplified for those businesses in difficulty.”

Gympie Times


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