As the days go on and there are no new cases of COVID-19 here in Western Australia, I feel like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the intrastate border closures. Bringing Western Australians together will be the first step in a long road ahead of us before things get back to ‘normal’.
I expect that community recovery will take a lot more than this financial year, and although the City has set aside $1million as part of the COVID-19 fighting fund, and we are yet to see if this will be enough.
So far we have allocated only $4,000 but a large number of groups and clubs have been in touch with the City to find out more about the fund, and many others are still trying to determine the full impact that the virus has had.
It should be clear, the fund only deals with the impact of and fallout from the virus, and not those who may have been struggling prior to COVID-19. If you’re not sure whether your group can apply for the fund, you should contact City staff to discuss your situation, and find out if you’re eligible to make an application.
We are aiming to keep the whole application process fluid and easy, and not add further stress to groups who are already facing tough times. If you’re thinking off applying, you will need to be able to show the financial impact the virus has had on your group through things like a loss of operational income, or costs incurred for things that could not be refunded.
There are lots of options for support available to our community, not just for charities, sporting and community groups, but also for businesses, to help them survive the fallout from COVID-19. The City can help, and is doing its bit to support our whole community, but we’re not the only ones.
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry can help local businesses and community groups, and there are also funds available from the State and Federal governments. As Mayor, I’d like to encourage local community groups apply for these other funds before reaching out to the City. Your Councillors and I are very keen to ensure that every charity, community and sporting group in Kalgoorlie-Boulder that existed before the virus still exists when we come out of it.
It’s these groups that make Kalgoorlie-Boulder more than a mining town, and add to the rich social and cultural tapestry that makes us a great place to live.