Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker.

Ratepayer bills frozen as part of a two year recovery plan

Isaac Regional Council has approved a million dollar coronavirus strategic recovery plan to assist the region in bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic.

"With the health impacts, social disruptions and economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a year like no other in living memory," Mayor Anne Baker said.

To assist the region, council has approved a million-dollar COVID-19 strategic recovery plan to be implemented over the next two years.

The strategic recovery plan is a longer-term plan which complements the shorter term Tactic and Strategic Response and Recovery Framework implemented in March.

"Our strategic recovery plan will work to maintain strong communities across Isaac by focusing on business resilience, developing the regional tourism sector, maintaining council's sustainability, continuing disaster recovery functions under the Disaster Management Plan," Mrs Baker said.

"We will continue to grow community resilience and advocating to third parties for initiatives not within council's direct control."

READ: Council set to deliver $80m despite 'disruptive' year

Earlier in the year, council dedicated funds to supporting local businesses and froze the majority of bills.

"In our budget this year, we froze most council charges for residential ratepayers, small businesses and not-for-profit groups," Mrs Baker said.

"Also, council has taken action to assist 95 small to medium businesses and community groups, providing the equivalent of a cash injection of nearly $750,000 to help them get back on their feet.

"Half a million dollars of that has come from the Isaac Community Chest Fund, made possible through the support of Anglo American, BHP, Civeo and Aquila Resources/South32.

"We have also launched a "Shop Isaac" campaign, distributing (so far) 4,500 cards loaded with over $35,000 cash that can be spent at any of more than 100 participating businesses in the Isaac region."

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Despite facing one of the toughest years as Mayor, Mrs Baker is confident the region will make it out better than before.

"Everyone will be hoping 2021 sees a return to something closer to a pre-COVID 'normal'.

"I do know that, whatever happens, the Isaac region will continue to make an enormous contribution to the economic health and wellbeing of the broader region, Queensland and the nation."

She wanted to thank Isaac communities, families and businesses for the hard work and resilience shown through the pandemic.

"I believe our proud mining and farming families and businesses will not just survive the current challenges but thrive in 2021 and beyond," Mrs Baker said.