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Local council business fees and charges to be frozen under Liberal Nationals plan to boost support for small businesses

The Liberal Nationals today announced the third part of the Local Business Action Plan to make Victoria the small business capital of the nation, with a commitment to freeze selected fees levied on businesses by local councils for four years.

As part of the Liberal Nationals Local Business Action Plan, a number of local government fees will be frozen including footpath and road occupation fees, fees on hairdressers and beauty businesses, fees on food businesses, and fees on accommodation providers.

The full list of fees will be selected in consultation with small businesses, industry associations and local councils across the state.

An O’Brien Liberal Nationals Government will also prevent local councils from imposing new fees on small business without the express permission of the Minister for Local Government.

The policy sends the message that an O’Brien Liberal Nationals government will back local jobs, local business and local success.

With the $1,500 small business fee rebate policy providing a State government credit for local and state government fees, the fee freeze will ensure there is no inappropriate cost shifting between different levels of government.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Small Business, Michael O’Brien:

“Small business is the lifeblood of our economy, but over the past six years, and especially during COVID lockdowns in 2020, the Andrews Labor Government’s mismanagement has smashed small businesses. Many will never recover.

“The Liberal Nationals’ Local Business Action Plan backs local business, local jobs and local success.

“Local communities need growing small businesses and councils must not look to hike fees on this vital sector.

“The time has come for governments to get off the back of small business, cut red tape and let small business get on with the work of growing our economy and creating jobs.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government, David Morris:

“Many councils have done the right thing, and resisted the temptation to bolster their financial position by slugging local small businesses, but some have not.

“Small traders who survived the 2020 COVID lockdowns are hanging on by their fingertips, and increasing council charges put their survival at risk. They need support to stay in business, not more reasons to leave.

“Freezing the cost of fees levied on local businesses is a practical and effective way to deliver that support.”

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