January 21, 2020
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is extending financial relief measures for drought-affected farmers that it introduced last year.
The decision was made at Tuesday’s Ordinary Meeting, with Councillors voting unanimously in favour of the motion.
Cr Mike Williams said the decision to continue the policy provided much-needed respite to rural residents who have been experiencing hardship.
“We introduced this form of relief during the 2018-19 financial year hoping that conditions would improve throughout our region,” he said.
“While we received some much-needed rain over the weekend, unfortunately this has not been the drought-breaking rain we require.
“Follow up rain is desperately needed and it is acknowledged that it will take a long time for our rural producers to recover from the effects of the drought.
“The drought has placed significant financial and emotional pressures on our rural communities. and Council had no hesitation in extending this form of assistance.”
Cr Williams said TRC will defer general rates and water rates payments issued during the second half of this financial year until September 2020.
“By making this decision we’re also ensuring that rural residents who have been drought-affected are still able to receive their discount which normally only applies when your Rate Notice is paid within 31 days,” Cr Williams said.
“Any rural ratepayer who owns a drought-affected property in the TRC area, and is able to demonstrate eligibility for the Australian Government Farm Household Allowance as a direct result of the drought, will be eligible for the deferment of payments from Council.”
TRC received 150 applications for deferments during the 2018-19 financial year
Rural residents who find that deferment has resulted in an accumulation of debt which has placed an extra burden and strain on their financial situation, are encouraged to make a separate application to Council for the purposes of pursuing individual payment arrangements in accordance with Council’s adopted policy and established procedures.
Rural residents who are unsure whether they are eligible should contact TRC on 13-18-72.