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Camden Council has announced a $16.8 million support package for residents and local businesses suffering the shock of COVID-19.

The relief package will have three stages to be rolled out over the next six months. The information below contains the first two stages. Stage Three, or the recovery phase of the package, will be tailored in coming weeks, once the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Camden community becomes clearer. It will include a mix of major projects, events and activations and grants and financial support mechanisms for business and community groups.

For more information on any of the below information, including how to apply, contact Council on 4654 7777. Our Customer Service Team will direct you to the correct people.

What is Council doing to help?

Rate relief

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  • All rateable properties within the Camden LGA will be given a one-off $100 rate rebate for the 2020/21 rating year.
  • For residents experiencing hardship, Council will also waive the interest due on overdue rate notices for a period of up to 12 months.
  • Council will also remove the requirement for hardship applications.

 

Residents

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Freeze on increase to domestic waste charges

  • No increase to Domestic Waste Management charges for 2020/21. 
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Expedite Capital Works Program

  • Council will continue to maintain economic stimulation by ensuring the progression of our extensive infrastructure works program, and the inclusion of an additional $11.4M of works into the program.
  • Council will accelerate the delivery of a number of infrastructure projects from the 2020/21 Capital Works Program, to be completed by 31 December 2020.
  • $60million worth of infrastructure projects will be delivered in 20/21.
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Reimbursement of payments to Council, relaxation of cancellation policies

Council will provide residents with the option:

  • For a full refund for tickets to paid Council events;
  • To reschedule without penalty; and
  • For a full refund for monies paid for facility and space hire.
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    Digital portal for support information and services

    • Council has developed an online portal on Council’s website for COVID-19 information relevant to the local community.
    • Key staff have been identified to assist residents with specific concerns and direct them to subject matter experts.
    • As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the information on this portal is updated to ensure we are regularly providing our community with the most up to date information on the situation. 
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    Volunteering - Lifeline

    • Council has made available eligible staff to volunteer at Lifeline as part of their current roles to assist with the increased volume of calls Lifeline are currently receiving.
    • This is part of our commitment to ensuring we continue providing mental health and wellbeing support for our community during this difficult time.
    • Council is currently working with a number of other not for profit organisations to continue facilitating and supporting the delivery of essential community services.
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    Digital and contactless delivery of library programs and services

    • Following the closure of our libraries, Council has been working to expand the provision of online and eResources available to the community.
    • Council will deliver a number of much-loved library programs on social media, including Storytime.
    • There will be continuous promotion of digital access to library collections and youth programming.
    • Council is also looking to expand library delivery service to vulnerable members of our community to ensure they are still able to access library resources. 
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    Six-month non-statutory fee waiver for local business and residents

    • The waiving of some non-statutory fees and charges for community and business will provide additional financial assistance during the COVID-19 period.
    • These fees will be automatically waived.
    • Council is waiving non-statutory fees for an initial period of six months, pertaining to the following service areas:
      1. Fees associated with fire safety certificates and health inspections, including food shop inspections;
      2. Fees associated with cemetery services;
      3. Fines associated with our library services;
      4. Fees associated with outdoor dining; and
      5. Fees associated with companion animal release.
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    Digital delivery of Alan Baker Art Gallery programs and exhibitions

    • Council will digitally deliver workshops and exhibitions at the Alan Baker Art Gallery, as well as run a number of digital media campaigns to showcase the Alan Baker Collection.
    • This will enable continued access to the Allan Baker Art Gallery’s current exhibition Portraits of Camden which has been captured digitally through a series of 360 degree still photographs.
    • In addition, as part of the school holiday program a digital workshop will also be delivered. The exhibition and programs will available via Council's Facebook page and website.

     

     

    Businesses

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     Quick Response Grant

    APPLICATIONS CLOSED ON 14 MAY.

    • These grants are up to $2,000.
    • They are for immediate assistance meeting operational commitments and help bridge the gap when applying for State or Federal Government funding.
    • They are open to small businesses with a turnover of up to $2,000,000 per year.
    • All successful applicants will have their payment details verified through EFTSure prior to dispersal of funds. 
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    Digital Adaptation and Innovation Grant

    APPLICATIONS CLOSED ON 31 MAY.

    • These grants are up to $15,000.
    • They are for small business to adapt business models to digital or online delivery, or to implement innovative processes in response to COVID-19.
    • This grant provides funding assistance for small businesses to allow them to adapt and remain open for business. 
    • The grant can be utilised to pay for goods and services that enable a business to adapt their current business practices to remain in operation.
    • All successful applicants will have their payment details verified through EFTSure prior to dispersal of funds. 
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    Rental reduction

    • Businesses currently leasing Council facilities, with an annual income of up to $50 million, will receive a 50 per cent reduction in rent for a period of three months.
    • Applications for rental subsidy or hardship provisions from other organisations will be assessed on a case by case basis for other organisations experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.
    • Council holds a number of leases and rental agreements with not for profit, community groups, small businesses and larger commercial businesses. To aid these organisations during this time it is proposed to waive rent payable by not for profit, community, small business, and residents for a period of 3 months. 
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    Digital media campaigns

    • A number of social media campaigns have been developed to continue to support local businesses and to boost positivity in the community.
    • They include #camdenbought, #camdenlove and the online database of local businesses still operating through COVID-19.
    • It is vital as a community that we continue supporting our local businesses and each other during these difficult times.
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    Six-month non-statutory fee waiver for local business and residents, including fees associated with:

    • The waiving of some non-statutory fees and charges for community and business will provide additional financial assistance during the COVID-19 period.
    • These fees will be automatically waived.
    • Council is waiving non-statutory fees for an initial period of six months, pertaining to the following service areas:
      1. Fees associated with fire safety certificates and health inspections, including food shop inspections;
      2. Fees associated with cemetery services;
      3. Fines associated with our library services;
      4. Fees associated with outdoor dining; and
      5. Fees associated with companion animal release.
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    Council procurement process

    • Council will implement a Local Preference Policy and a Local Vendor Panel.
    • To assist local businesses officers are currently preparing a Local Preference Policy that will enable a local weighting to be applied to business as part of the tender assessment process. The Policy will be brought to the June council meeting for consideration and formal endorsement.
    • Vendor Panel will provide a central place for local business to register the goods and services they can provide. This will enhance the connection to local business and Council’s procurement locally.

    Community Groups and Organisations

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     Community Response Grant

    APPLICATIONS CLOSED ON 31 MAY.

    • This grant package provides for grants of up to $15,000 for community and not for profit groups.
    • They may be used to continue provision of essential services or launch innovative support mechanisms responding to COVID-19.
    • The grants are designed to assist local groups that are providing support and assistance for the Camden LGA during the COVID-19 crisis.
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    Rental reduction

    • Businesses currently leasing Council facilities, with an annual income of up to $50 million, will receive a 50 per cent reduction in rent for a period of three months.
    • Applications for rental subsidy or hardship provisions from other organisations will be assessed on a case by case basis for other organisations experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.
    • Council holds a number of leases and rental agreements with not for profit, community groups, small businesses and larger commercial businesses. To aid these organisations during this time it is proposed to waive rent payable by not for profit, community, small business, and residents for a period of 3 months. 
     NEW COVID 19 Support package icons2

    Reimbursement of payments to Council, relaxation of cancellation policies

    Council will provide residents with the option:

    • For a full refund for tickets to paid Council events;
    • To reschedule without penalty; and
    • For a full refund for monies paid for facility and space hire.
     COVID 19 Support package icons15

    Volunteering - Lifeline

    • Council has made available eligible staff to volunteer at Lifeline as part of their current roles to assist with the increased volume of calls Lifeline are currently receiving.
    • This is part of our commitment to ensuring we continue providing mental health and wellbeing support for our community during this difficult time.
    • Council is currently working with a number of other not for profit organisations to continue facilitating and supporting the delivery of essential community services.
     NEW COVID 19 Support package icons15

    Digital and contactless delivery of library programs and services

    • Following the closure of our libraries, Council has been working to expand the provision of online and eResources available to the community;
    • Council will deliver a number of much-loved library programs on social media, including Storytime.
    • There will be continuous promotion of digital access to library collections and youth programming.
    • Council is also looking to expand library delivery service to vulnerable members of our community to ensure they are still able to access library resources.