Why is Council reviewing the policy?
- On 29 June 2021, Council noted a proposed draft Rate Payment and Financial Hardship Policy. This draft seeks to update the current policy that outlines the approach taken by Council in administering rate payments at the City of Casey. Council is extremely mindful of the impact that financial hardship has on our community and these impacts are heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that the community can access reliable information on the options available to ratepayers in how they manage their rate payments, particularly during the current pandemic.
- The main proposed changes to the policy are:
- general updates to the Rate Payment and Financial Hardship Policy and consolidation of this policy with the current Overpayment of Rates Policy
- including expanded sections relating to the need to have a stronger customer-centric focus on the circumstances when hardship needs to be considered. These updates have been undertaken with reference to the Victorian Ombudsman Council Response To Ratepayers Report and other councils’ and utility providers’ equivalent policies
- clarifies the delegation limits for officers’ ability to waive or defer amounts in line with the finding of a recent internal audit.
- The Policy is updated and released as a draft for comment from 30 June 2021 to 30 July 2021 and will be further considered by Council alongside any community feedback in August 2021.
- Council would then propose that this interim policy be reassessed once the State Government has formally responded to the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
- Anyone wishing to make a comment on the policy can complete the form below.