Coronavirus support proposal

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Councillors are set to vote on the proposed development of support packages to help local businesses and the wider community cope with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Stephanie Asher will put forward a Notice of Motion during the Tuesday 24 March council meeting, seeking agreement from the council for the creation of two separate economic and community support packages:

  • a short-term package to be funded this financial year and delivered by April; and
  • a medium to longer-term package to be funded in the 2020-21 financial year and presented to the council by June.

The mayor’s motion does not set a ceiling for the size of the packages. However, it does state that any assistance should not impact the longer-term financial sustainability of the City of Greater Geelong nor create an unsustainable burden for current and future ratepayers.

The motion forecasts the potential for the council to adopt a fiscal policy of deficit to help fund its support measures.

It also highlights the key role of the state and federal governments in providing economic stimulus and support, and suggests the council’s contribution should be designed to supplement larger contributions from these higher tiers of government.

If the motion is passed by the council, all 11 councillors will work with the CEO to develop the two support packages.

You can watch a live stream of the meeting from 7pm Tuesday here.

Mayor Stephanie Asher:

This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation that is already having serious impacts on our local businesses and the community as a whole. We are feeling for those facing tough times and want to do what we can to help.

Our advice is that the COVID-19 pandemic lifecycle is expected to be at least six months, and the community and economic impacts will stretch on for much longer.

State and federal governments have a lead role in providing urgent and ongoing financial relief on a large scale. But, if this motion receives support from my fellow councillors on Tuesday night, we will carry out a thorough review to allocate as much as we can towards supporting those who need it at a local level.

In the meantime we encourage our community to continue to support each other, to stay as positive as possible, and most importantly to help prevent the spread of the virus by closely following the advice of health authorities. Thank-you to everyone in Greater Geelong for your efforts to do this so far.


Page last updated: Monday, 23 March 2020