By STAFF WRITERS
Waverley Council in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs has approved a new round of community support measures to help businesses in the municipality cope with the Greater Sydney lockdown.
At a meeting on Wednesday night, the council agreed to provide financial support to businesses through fee waivers, as well as with childcare fee relief through the postponement of scheduled fee increases.
The business financial relief measures include suspension of footpath seating fees, with businesses unable to provide customer seating on footpaths during the current lockdown period.
The lockdown, which began at 6pm on Friday, 26 June is scheduled to run through to 11.59pm Friday, 9 July. However, speculation is mounting that the lockdown could be extended beyond that date, with NSW recording its highest one-day case numbers of the current outbreak in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
31 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the 24-hour period, bringing the number of active cases in NSW to 235.
In addition to financial assistance announced by Waverley Council, the LGA has also announced a number of non-financial support measures, including: relaxed enforcement of rules for restaurants to facilitate takeaway-only services; continuation of Council’s capital works program to support employment in the construction sector through lockdown; and using local suppliers for goods and services, where possible.
Fees for sporting groups and venue hire have also been waived for the duration of the stay-at-home orders, while commercial waste charges have been reduced due to reduced service level requirements.
Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos said the support measures would be a temporary arrangement to assist businesses through the lockdown period.
“This business support package is scheduled for one month initially as NSW works hard to get on top of this outbreak. We are monitoring the situation closely and are hoping for recovery more quickly than in previous lockdowns,” she said.
Speaking of the new childcare fee arrangements she said: “We know families still need to work and many find childcare costs a burden when their own incomes are at risk. For that reason Council voted to delay the scheduled child care fee increases.
“We are also ensuring our most vulnerable community members are being cared for with council officers working closely with our partners.”
The Mayor urged community members to do all they could to help the state get on top of the current Covid-19 outbreak.
“I have faith in our community coming together and observing the public health orders to stay at home. We can get on top of this current outbreak together and I encourage everyone to get tested and vaccinated,” she said.
“Don’t forget to social distance and use those QR codes when out doing your essential shopping.”
For more information on Waverley Council’s support measures for small businesses, as well safety information for businesses operating under new restrictions, visit www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/business/business_resource_centre/covid_business_support.