2020/21 Budget - Budget supports community, business recovery from COVID-19

Date published: 30 June 2020

Townsville City Council’s 2020-21 budget underlines its commitment to help the community recover from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Mayor Jenny Hill said modelling undertaken by Council economists showed recovery was likely to take 3-5 years, provided there were no further shocks.

“We know that many in our community are doing it tough because of coronavirus and Council is committed to doing everything it can to help,” Cr Hill said.

“That’s why the budget includes $15 million in support initiatives which are in addition to the $30 million COVID-19 response package announced in March.”

Cr Hill said Council’s decision to put a freeze on general rates for owner occupiers and sewerage charges across the city would provide relief for at least the next 6 months for many families.

“Council will retain the 10 per cent general rates discount for early payments as well as a three months extension on the due date for payment for households that need it,” she said.

“Three months free commercial rent for tenants of council-owned properties will also be available if required and Council will continue to support local businesses through 14-day payment terms.”

Planning and Development Committee chairperson Les Walker said the budget also included initiatives to stimulate new development right across the city.

“The budget includes a COVID-19 economic support package which aims to encourage new developments across the city,” Cr Walker said.

“Under the package, developments valued at more than $4 million could be eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in council infrastructure charges, up to a maximum of $250,000.

“To be eligible for this package, the development must demonstrate the creation of new jobs and have a meaningful economic impact on the city.

“Council will also continue to offer its central business district-specific development incentive package which includes the waiver of fees and charges for eligible projects to promote high value development in the city core and fringe areas.

“With these incentive packages in place, now is the time for developers to get their projects underway in our great city.”