EMRC delivers Coronavirus and FOGO dividend to member Councils

Published on Saturday, 18 April 2020 at 3:10:49 PM

The EMRC is backing its six member Councils and their ratepayers in Perth’s Eastern Region with a multi-million dollar dividend, enabling funds to be diverted to essential services tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

At an EMRC Special Council Meeting on 16 April 2020, Councillors voted unanimously in favour of paying a $5m COVID-19 dividend to member Councils, payable by 30 June 2020. The money will be drawn equally from the EMRC’s Municipal Fund and Future Development Reserve.

The move follows a decision, made at the EMRC Council at the 19 March 2020 meeting, to distribute $13.8m to member Councils to pay for bins, caddies, community education and related costs of members Councils for the forthcoming introduction of the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) three-bin waste collection system across Perth’s Eastern Region.

The $5m COVID-19 dividend will be distributed to the EMRC’s six member Councils before the end of the financial year to help them implement and maintain emergency support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMRC Chairman Cr Jai Wilson, said: “The Councillors of the EMRC understand the pressures our member Councils are under to keep rates down and at the same time deliver on the services their communities need. That is why we have taken decisive action to pay a dividend of $5m to assist our member Councils with their upcoming budgets and ease some of the cost pressures on our communities. I would like to thank Councillor Mel Congerton for moving this motion, and all my fellow Councillors for acting decisively to unanimously support his motion.”

Below is the text of the motion proposed by Cr Congerton that was carried unanimously at the EMRC Special Council Meeting held on 16 April 2020:

That Council:

1. Not adjust the secondary waste reserve charge applied to landfill tonnages from member Councils for the 2020/2021 financial year.

2. By absolute majority, the EMRC declare a dividend of $5m to be funded by $2.5m from Municipal Fund based on estimated 2019/2020 operating surpluses, and in accordance with s.6.11(2)(b) of the Local Government Act 1995, a distribution of $2.5m from the Future Development Reserve.

3. The dividend is payable to each member Council on or before June 30 2020 based on the Councils shareholding as per the last audited accounts being 30 June 2019.

4. Confirms, in accordance with r.18(c) of the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996, that the EMRC is not required to give local public notice of a proposed change of use of money in a reserve account due the satisfaction of the following conditions: a. a decision to change the use of the money is made while there is in force a state of emergency declaration applying to the district, or part of the district, of the local government; b. The EMRC considers that the change of use is required to address a need arising from the hazard, or from the impact or consequences of the hazard, to which the state of emergency declaration relates; c. The decision and the reasons for it are to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which the decision is made.

5. Note the reason for changing the original recommendation is to respond to the current global COVID-19 pandemic by providing financial and economic benefit to member Councils, their ratepayers and communities.

-ends-

Media contact:

Cr Jai Wilson
Chairman, EMRC
Mobile: 0427 690 053

Or email: richard.whitehead@emrc.org.au

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