12 March 2024

Council offers rates relief for flood-affected Cook Shire property owners

| Cape York Weekly
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With more than 150 Cook Shire residences impacted by the flooding following Tropical Cyclone Jasper, the council says it’s rates relief initiative will ease the financial strain on those who have been hit hardest. Photo: Supplied.

Cook Shire Council has released details of a new policy it says will provide financial relief to ratepayers impacted by the rainfall and flood events caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

At its ordinary meeting on 27 February, 2024, the council voted to adopt its TC Jasper and Associated Rainfall and Flooding Policy, which will aim to provide crucial support to property owners grappling with financial hardship due to the December 2023 weather events.

The policy will allow the council to consider applications for financial aid from ratepayers severely impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper, with assistance options including the freezing of interest for up to 12 months, or the deferment of a rates payment for up to the same period.

To qualify, applicants must own the affected property and complete the designated application form, which is available on the council website.

Mayor Peter Scott emphasised the importance of the initiative and said the organisation was doing what it could to help ratepayers.

READ ALSO $50,000 funding announced for flood-hit Cook Shire communities

“The effects of Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the subsequent rainfall and flooding continue to reverberate throughout our community,” Mayor Scott said after the policy was adopted.

“As a council, it is our duty to stand with our residents during these difficult times and offer assistance wherever possible.

“We understand the challenges our community members are facing, and this policy reflects our dedication to alleviating some of the financial burdens incurred as a result of the cyclone.”

Mayor Scott said the policy would not compromise the council’s statutory responsibility to debt recovery.

“Our priority is the well-being of our community,” he said.

“Together, we will navigate through these challenging times, and Cook Shire Council remains steadfast in our dedication to supporting our community every step of the way.”

Impacted residents are encouraged to contact the council’s rates officer on 4082 0500 as soon as possible, and are requested to submit their applications before their rates payment becomes due.

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