Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman. PHOTO TWH
At its meeting of 25 May 2020, Bourke Shire Council resolved to waive the food premises inspection fee for food shops within Bourke Shire for the current financial year.
Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman said that recognised the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and similar businesses.
As a result of the COVID-19 public health order, such establishments were unable to serve dine-in meals and relied on their takeaway trade.
Despite the public health orders, Council is still required to conduct inspections of retail food businesses to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2003 and Food Safety Standards.
Mayor Hollman said that it was important that these businesses were supported through what has been a particularly tough time, and council had resolved to waive the food premises inspection fees for the current financial year.
Recent changes to the Local Government Act gave council authority to waive the fees without public notice requirements where the changes were in response to COVID-19.
The waiving of fees will mean a reduction in council income of approximately $5,280.
Mayor Hollman encouraged all residents to support local businesses during this period of economic stress, to help ensure local businesses survived into the future.