Western Downs has ‘better chance of survival’ through COVID era
COUNCIL’S massive $50 million recovery package that was approved on Monday has already been put to action.
Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh said that the package aims to help local businesses and de-risking the communities.
Cr McVeigh said that the programs had commenced immediately.
“It is about trying to reinvigorate our community,” he said.
“One of the things we need to do as a council is to create jobs to keep people employed.”
The package will give contractors an opportunity to work meaning more patronage to local businesses such as cafes, service stations and bottle shops.
Cr McVeigh said that council staff have put in a lot of hard work in preparing the package for delivery.
“I’d really like to complement the staff of the Western Downs for their hard work,” he said.
Community organisations such as sporting clubs have also been forced to shut down during the crisis.
They may be eligible for a grant worth up to $10,000.
Applications open on June 1 and will conclude on 30 June 2021.
Other items include a 50% rebate on all retail, commercial and shopping centre general rates under the March issued levy.
Fees for planning, building and plumbing will be waived until 30 June 2021.
There will also be an extension of the discount period on all rates until 30 June this year.
On top of these, Council will be launching an E-Commerce Support Program delivered though webinars and one-on-one consultations to teach businesses how to build an online presence.
A Business Recovery Planning Program will help business develop growth strategies and risk management plans to prepare for any future crises.
Dalby Chamber of Commerce President Rohan May has welcomed the recovery package passed by council on Monday.
“It’s a very exciting and very generous package,” he said.
“It’ll be not only the envy of Queensland but also Australia.”
Mr May believes the package recognises the needs of businesses during this time.
“Any help that businesses can get will make things a bit easier to succeed.”
Mr May hopes the funds will help even after the end of the droughts and COVID-19.
Chinchilla Community, Commerce and Industry president Shannon McDermott was stoked about the announcement.
“I think it is a fantastic time to be fortunate enough to be in the Western Downs [region],” he said.
“If you have a business in the Western Downs Regional Council area, you’ll have a better chance of survival than a business in any other area.”
Mr McDermott is looking forward to the long-term projects being created by the package.
Some of the projects being created in Chinchilla include upgrades to the Cultural Precinct, the Weir and the Miles CBD streetscape.