Council is continuing to assist residents directly impacted by the recent wildfires in Livingstone, after resolving to apply provisions including extending the eligibility of the Financial Hardship Policy and reducing water consumption charges.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said Council resolved to proceed with five options in relation to residents and businesses severely impacted by the Cobraball 2019 fire event, which affected more than 12,000 hectares of property around Cobraball, Bungundarra, Maryvale, Adelaide Park, Lake Mary and Woodbury.
“While immediate recovery assistance was provided to those residents impacted by this event, there are ongoing methods of support that Council is implementing in order to continue to provide people with the best possible chance at recovery as we look towards the future,” Mayor Ludwig said.
“This has resulted in other considerations to support the community directly impacted which includes enacting the Livingstone Shire Council Hardship Policy (Hardship Category Two), where there is a commitment to minimal or no rates payments with an expected duration of hardship of up to 12 months.
“Council has also resolved to extend the eligibility of the Financial Hardship Policy to apply to commercial businesses and primary producers in the fire zone directly impacted by the Cobraball fires.
“Following this, Council will utilise a mix of acknowledging existing use rights and exemption certificates for circumstances where ‘like’ is replacing ‘like’ or in circumstances where a bushfire management plan has identified a site which is less susceptible to the impacts of natural disasters.
“Furthermore, Council will waive the application fees associated with development applications required for planning, building or plumbing and drainage permits, in instances where the applicant’s insurance does not cover such costs or the individual was not insured.
“Council has also replenished water to properties where tank water was used to fight fire in a preventative manner as well as commencing to reduce water consumption charges where properties have been connect to Council’s water reticulation network.
“Council also resolved on 19 November, 2019 to waive charges associated with disaster related waste which will extend for a period of time.
“Council wants to ensure it’s doing everything it can to assist in the recovery effort.”