Parkes Shire Councillors have been meeting regularly via video conference and as a consequence issue the following statement:

Covid-19 was recently described by the Australian Prime Minister as a double disaster, a health disaster and a financial disaster. As such Council is responding on behalf of Parkes Shire businesses.

We are still enduring the drought which has persisted since 2017, absolutely the worst drought ever endured in this region. The drought has not only crippled the farming community, but many other businesses were also impacted. COVID-19 has now really smashed our businesses, the anguish is palpable.

Council will be lobbying our Local Federal Member the Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Hon Sam Farraway MLC, Local Member Phil Donato, Linda Scott President of Local Government NSW, anyone who will listen, we will fight with every last breath, seeking to support our business community.

For a start we will be lobbying for:

  • A UK and New Zealand style 80% wage subsidy
  • Financial counsellors for business to help navigate the assistance available
  • State Government to provide rate relief such as they did during the devastating bushfires
  • Business assistance to not only sustain them while shutdown, but to allow them to learn and refresh while they have time, so when they start-up again they are super-charged.
  • Essential supply chains to reach regional and rural areas to ensure that our farming and smaller communities such as Peak Hill, Trundle, BoganGate and Tullamore continue to receive deliveries of food and fuel.

Council will also simplify hardship applications to allow all ratepayers including businesses to apply for relief measures for rates and water charges and will encourage payment plans to alleviate any financial hardship wherever possible.

The uncertainty around this time is absolutely debilitating, but we will fight with all our might as your Council to get the assistance we need to save our business community and employees.