At last night’s Ordinary Council Meeting, the Special Rate for marketing and business development was declared.
The Special Rate will apply to eligible commercial, industrial and tourism and hospitality properties in Swan Hill and Lake Boga for a further seven years, starting 1 July 2019.
Mayor Ann Young said significant consultation with local businesses was undertaken before making the decision.
“To ensure the best outcome was achieved for our region, we wanted to ensure our business community had a chance to have their say,” Cr Young said.
“On top of extending the exhibition period, we wrote directly to all eligible businesses, advertised public notices in local media, held information sessions and met with business owners one-on-one.
“And the level of engagement from our business community, both informally and through our formal processes, was really pleasing.
“Out of the 226 formal submissions we received, 163 were in support of the Special Rate – further highlighting that local business owners also see the benefit and importance of promoting our region as the place to live, work, invest and shop.”
Cr Young said the focus can now shift back to promoting the ‘Heart of the Murray’.
“We’re really looking forward to continuing the tradition of promoting our region, and not just the tourism aspect,” she said.
“The special rate is also used to help develop our current local businesses, attracting new business to the region and growing our economy so that all local businesses can benefit.
“We also have the option to review the Special Rate at any time during the seven year term.”
Council and Swan Hill Incorporated will now hold discussions about the future use of the Special Rate funds.
All businesses affected by the Special Rate, and all those who made submissions, will also be directly notified of Council’s decision.