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Council clears path for new financial support measures

Published Tuesday, 7th April 2020

This week the Council agreed to develop a budget for 2020/2021 based on freezing rates per property and City-set fees and charges.

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City of Wanneroo Council tonight agreed to base the development of the City’s upcoming 2020/21 budget on having a 0 per cent increase on annual rates per property (subject to no change in valuation) and City-set fees and charges, including waste services.

The Council has given Administration direction to work on a range of measures aimed at providing financial support to local communities and businesses as part of the 2020/21 budget.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the new budget measures were designed to meet the current and future needs of the Wanneroo community in direct response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

“Next financial year’s budget is unlike any other in the City’s history because we’re facing an unprecedented situation,” Mayor Roberts said.

“Fortunately, our financial position means we can ensure the continuity of services including waste collection, community safety and ranger services.

“Recognising that our community is facing unprecedented times, Council will ensure that the City’s Financial Hardship Policy is monitored in line with our COVID-19 response and adjusted if needed. 

“In addition, Council has requested the CEO take into account a six-month moratorium on late payment interest for six months from 1 July to 31 December, as well as implement a reduction in the instalment and late payment interest rates for the balance of the 2020/21 financial year.

“We are also making sure the vulnerable members of our community have access to vital services and social engagement tools, so we’re looking at innovative ways to offer assistance with shopping, library services, online tips for children feeling the effects of social distancing, and new ways to interact with our amenities.

“In addition to reassuring our rate payers, it is important that we all continue to support Wanneroo businesses, especially ones that are facing a really tough time at the moment.

“We have a strong entrepreneurial history in Wanneroo and it’s important that we remember this COVID-19 crisis won’ be forever. Our business people need the opportunity to realise their vision as we move into recovery phase and beyond.

“We’re providing training and workshops, linking entrepreneurs with incubators and business partners and reaching out to industries most affected by COVID-19, including tourism, retail and hospitality to see if we can help them get through this tough time.

The new budget will be adopted in June and come into effect on 1 July 2020. Further details will be communicated in the coming weeks and months.

For more information on the impact of COVID-19 on the City’s services, visit our COVID-19 webpage and our @Home facilities page for details on our online services and ideas to keep fit and engaged during social distancing and self-isolation requirements. 

Fact file

The 2020/2021 Annual budget is to be developed based on:

  • Recommendations include:
    1. 0% increase on annual rates for each property (subject to no change in valuations)
    2. 0% increase on City’s set fees and charges including Waste Service Fee noting State Government set the statutory fees
    3. Late payment interest moratorium for 6 months from 1 July to December 31 2020 with a review at this time
    4. A reduction in the instalment interest rate and late payment interest rate for the balance of the financial year post the decision in resolution 'c' (above)
    5. The Financial Hardship – Collection of Rates and Service Charges Policy usage will be monitored and if necessary modified
    6. A business hardship policy be considered for development.
  • The 2020-21 budget will take effect from 1 July 2020 however special arrangement fees for new rate payment arrangements will be waived for a period starting from Wednesday 8 April and continue for 120 days, to coincide with changes related to the COVID-19 response.

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