What Council is doing to support you during COVID-19

Council is helping the Merri-bek community during the COVID-19 pandemic via a range of measures including financial relief, community grants, support for businesses, increased home support services and online and over-the-phone enhancements to existing services.

On Wednesday 25 March, Council resolved to commit to a number of hardship and community relief measures to  assist individuals, businesses and organisations suffering hardship in our community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

These include:

Financial relief

Providing rates support to Merri-bek community members who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 as outlined in our COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy.

Community grants

Providing $80,000 in funding to COVID-19 Community Support Grant, which has been given to Inner North Community Foundation to distribute in the form of community grants. Learn more and apply

Online and telephone enhancements to services

Implementing critical changes to the way our services, programs and projects are delivered to ensure the safety of our staff and the community during COVID-19. This includes the provision of telephone counselling services and online support to young people and the promotion of electronic resources and home library delivery service while both Merri-bek Libraries and Oxygen Youth Space are temporarily closed. 

Business support

Supporting businesses by waiving food registration renewal fees for the 2020 calendar year and providing refunds for all fees paid in advance for services that can no longer take place including street trader permits and community venue hire.

Home support services

Continuing to support our vulnerable older residents with home support services and additional wellbeing checks and ensuring eligible new clients wanting Council home support and meal delivery services are fast-tracked.

Deferment of parking restrictions

Deferring new planned parking restrictions, as part of the Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Find out more about these deferred parking changes.

Sports club fee relief

Providing fee relief to community sporting organisations impacted by COVID-19. All fees for sports clubs leasing Council facilities and all annual and winter sports ground and pavilion allocations fees will be waived for the 2020 season.

Community support and relief

Implementing a Community Connections program campaign to equip residents, businesses and communities to support each other. This includes the promotion of health, safety, relief and support information during the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by the Be Kind Merri-bek campaign. Find out more about this program

Contact us via phone to discuss how our community relief measures (DOC 59Kb) and Financial Hardship Policy can support you during this time via 03 9240 1111.

View the full Council Resolution.

In addition to the actions above, there are also resources and support available for Merri-bek's arts and creative community and businesses. 

Arts and creative sector support

Arts Merri-bek have put together an extensive list of resources and support available for the arts and creative sector. This includes community grants and free professional development programs. See the full list of opportunities and information.