NSW councils are set to receive a $395m economic stimulus package from the state government, in an effort ‘to save local jobs and support communities to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19’.
The peak body representing NSW councils, Local Government NSW (LGNSW), welcomed the package, saying it would, ‘drive economic recovery in every corner of NSW, and save essential services’.
LGNSW president Linda Scott says, ‘As the only state government to have provided councils with economic support of this magnitude, the NSW government has ensured our state will lead the economic recovery from COVID-19’.
The package includes a three-month ‘Council Job Retention Allowance of $1,500 per fortnight, per qualifying staff, to limit job losses. The total allowance is capped at $112.5 million, and will be drawn from the NSW Government’s Jobs for NSW fund’.
Additionally, $32.8 million will go to councils to meet increases in the 2020/21 Emergency Services Levy.
‘This provision is over and above the $13.6 million provided to councils last year, to help them manage overnight levy increases of up to $220,000’.
There will also be a, ‘$250 million increase in low-cost loans to eligible councils through the state’s TCorp borrowing facility, to kick-start community infrastructure projects. TCorp will also be offering principal and interest payments deferrals on existing council loans.’
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The Northern NSW Local Health District held a press conference at Lismore Base Hospital this afternoon.
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In what is now a general press conference, the Premier spoke to media at 11am this morning about the pandemic and other business.