LEEWAY: An extension on rates payments has been granted.
LEEWAY: An extension on rates payments has been granted. Georja Ryan

Rates extension granted in wake of fires and drought

RESIDENTS will now have an extra four weeks to pay rates in the wake of the devastating bushfires and ongoing drought.

The Southern Downs Regional Council today announced it would extend the payment due date and discount period for all ratepayers.

This initiative was proposed by Deputy Mayor Jo McNally when the bushfires broke out one week ago and was passed yesterday at a special meeting of the council.

Cr McNally said the region had suffered significant hardship with the bushfires, on the back of a crippling drought, and it was important to provide the opportunity for ratepayers to access flexible payment options.

"Council recognises the changed circumstances with the recent bushfires being so close to the due date for the payment of general rates,” Cr McNally said.

"The council took into consideration that ratepayers affected by the fires and the drought may be facing hardship from the loss of income as well as physical and mental fatigue.”

The payment due date and the discount period end date for the rate notices issued on July 15 and due on September 13, has been extended to October 11.

Payment plans are available and council officers can provide more information regarding these options.

For more information ratepayers can phone the council on 1300697372.