We are one of Australia's leading regions during COVID-19
A $40 MILLION dollar difference in COVID-19 relief packages between the Toowoomba and Western Downs Regional Councils has left community leaders applauding mayor Paul McVeigh and his council for their historic efforts to keep the community moving through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise CEO Ali Davenport praised the Western Downs Regional Council for their relief package and said the work done by council was incomparable by any other council.
"I applaud the Western Downs Regional Council for their announcement but more importantly for all the hard work they have undertaken previously to provide money in the war chest to face this crisis," Ms Davenport said.
"Over a four-year period from 2015, the council made a decision to cut expenditure by $10.4 million and condensed loans, and in March 2019 they became one of the very few councils in Queensland who are debt free.
"This has led to today's $50 million announcement which is so significant I doubt whether any ouncil in Australia would be able match it for per capita spend to support the community through the COVID-19."
The package includes target rates support for home and business owners, the diminishing of dog registration fees and 1000 extra jobs for local tradies.
Ms Davenport said support like this was monumental for the community and described the funding as a "lifeline" for those who need assistance during these unprecedented times.
"It's another example of this council's sound financial management in the good times which has led them to be in a position to help the community and spend money when it is needed the most," she said.
"While all who work for the Western Downs Regional Council should feel proud of this achievement, I would like to highlight mayor Paul McVeigh, all councillors including councillor Ian Rasmussen as well as Council CEO Ross Musgrove for providing the leadership and direction to achieve the financial position that has led to today's announcement.
"I hope all who live in the Western Downs understand that you are in good hands with this council."