Latest update from Mayor about the City’s response to COVID-19
Published on 31 March 2020
This has been another week of unprecedented change as we all work together to combat the march of COVID-19.
The City of Swan has had to make some changes to our practices to comply with new government regulations. The most significant of these is the closure of our playgrounds, skate parks, BMX tracks and outdoor gym equipment and will remain closed for at least a month.
It's not always possible to fence off large public areas, so we're asking the community to use common sense and adhere to the State Government's closures for their own safety.
For a full list of our closures, visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage.
We’ve made changes to our Council Meetings and Agenda Forums. These changes seek to find a balance between protecting our community, allowing community participation and continuing the business of government.
These temporary measures see the suspension of Agenda Forums and the closure of the public gallery in the Council Chambers as we move towards online meetings.
Residents and ratepayers are encouraged to participate by submitting deputations and questions in writing as outlined on the City’s website.
We will continue to live-stream our Council meeting at 6pm on Wednesday, April 8.
We understand the economic pressures impacting families during the pandemic. Many families are unable to work or have lost their jobs and utility bills, tax, rent and mortgages still need to be paid.
Council is working to prepare a budget with a zero percent rate rise for 2020/21. This is to recognise the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community and to help the local recovery efforts.
The State Government has confirmed they will not be increasing service and utility charges for 2020/21, which also has a significant and positive impact for ratepayers. A common reason for increases in council rates and charges is the increase of State Government fees such as the waste levy, emergency services levy, power and water supply costs and vehicle registration. With these charges fixed at 2019/20 figures, it helps us to achieve a zero per cent rate rise for 2020/21.
Landgate, the State Government’s Valuer-General, recently completed their latest property revaluations. The new revaluation is based on the value of your property at market rental value on 1 August 2018. The new figure comes into effect on 1 July 2020, however the City of Swan and other local governments are calling on the State Government to postpone the implementation of this revaluation for 12 months to ensure the City’s rate in the dollar can remain frozen at last year’s figures.
State Government Investment
The State Government has announced a $159 million relief package for organisations helping people experiencing hardship as well as for community groups impacted by event cancellations.
This package is funded by Lotterywest sales and eligible groups can apply immediately for grant support by visiting the Lotterywest website or by calling 133 777.
The City of Swan continues to operate and deliver services as efficiently as possible during the closures. Our main Administration Building and Gidgegannup Place Office remain open, however I encourage you to use our online and phone services to reduce face-to-face contact.
City staff are working to ensure government continues to invest in our community. Major projects and roadworks provide significant employment for our residents and, where the work can be undertaken safely, we will continue to plan, construct and maintain the City’s assets.
The Federal Government launched a new Coronavirus mobile phone app for apple and android users this week. I encourage you to download the app and keep yourself updated with reliable and accurate information.
Download the app and find more information on the Federal Government website.
For more information on the City of Swan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our website for the latest updates.
Cr Kevin Bailey
Mayor, City of Swan