Southern Downs Regional Council has extended the due date for rates.
Southern Downs Regional Council has extended the due date for rates. Contributed

Backlash after SDRC extends rates on day they're due

IT WAS touted as a way to ease hardship for residents in the wake of fires and drought, but residents were not too pleased by the timing of an announcement about a rates extension.

Southern Downs Regional Council resolved to issue a four-week extension to rates payments at a special meeting today, the day rates were originally due.

Residents took to social media to voice their disappointment in the late notice.

Donna Parker said the announcement came too late for her.

"That would be right, we paid ours instead of the mortgage. Thanks again for nothing!" she said.

Tobi Budster was in the same boat.

"That would happen after I just paid ours," he commented.

Mel Owens was also annoyed by the timing of the decision.

"This would have been more helpful had you made this decision early enough to matter," she said.

"The drought will still be having a devastating effect when the next lot of rates are due too, so hopefully you'll automatically extend the payment due by date when they come out."

SDRC announced yesterday 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.

The initiative was proposed by Deputy Mayor Jo McNally when the bushfires broke out one week ago and was passed today.

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."

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

For more information ratepayers can phone the council on 1300 697 372.