Lismore City Council's councillors have released a joint statement calling for both State and Federal government assistance amid the coronavirus crisis. Photo: Lismore City Council
Lismore City Council's councillors have released a joint statement calling for both State and Federal government assistance amid the coronavirus crisis. Photo: Lismore City Council

COVID-19 impacting on council's ability to serve community

LISMORE City Council is calling on the NSW government to lend a helping hand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council supported a push from councillor Elly Bird at Tuesday's meeting to join Local Government NSW and councils across NSW in calling for the Federal and State Governments to direct economic stimulus packages to local governments.

"To date there has been very strong messaging from the federal government that council will not be eligible for any financial support through the JobKeeper payments and supplements that the government is offering to business," Cr Bird said.

"In light of the fact that support is clearly not coming from our federal government, we need to get on the front foot and start to work with state government to free up some capital so we can start working on some infrastructure projects."

Some of those projects include lobbying the State Government to cease the waste levy immediately and until July 2021 and release all roads grant funding prior to work being commenced.

"It's no secret we were in financial trouble before COVID-19-9 hit and now were' in a more precarious situation," Cr Bird said.

"Without some stimulus, without some funding and without some swift action from state and federal governments, it's likely we, among other councils, may not be able to continue to serve our communities and continue to govern our comms the way we want to.

"Let alone support our comms as we move into this new phase of likely economic downturns.

"We voted that we didn't want to accept loans at the last meeting, but we have no substantial support in terms of managing our workforce and the costs we're incurring.

"We need stimulus and economic support at a local level across all of our business. It's urgent."

The council will write to Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Page MP Kevin Hogan seeking their support in calling for this support for councils in the Northern Rivers.


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