Council broadens COVID-19 relief available to ratepayers

The Murray Bridge council has responded to dozens of requests for help.

Relief is now available for Murray Bridge ratepayers who are suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public pressure has prompted the local council to offer various forms of help, from delaying payment of property rates to waiving licence fees, lease or interest payments or even fines.

It will also help residents, businesses or community groups make sense of the help already available through the federal and state governments and not-for-profit organisations.

Councillors approved the measures on June 9.

At that time, chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said the council had received 26 requests for relief relating to COVID-19.

In 19 of those cases, the council had been able to offer some form of help.

Staff would aim to deal with any requests in four to six weeks or less.

Cr Mat O'Brien said an "exponential" number of community members were likely to help in the second half of the year.

"It's going to be September, October, November, December where even those people who have held their jobs will be able to pay the bills," he said.

Previously, the council had a more limited ability to negotiate with residents who were having trouble paying their rates, or water and sewage costs.

The new arrangements will be reviewed in December.

Photo: Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash.