Council relief response

We’re delivering a number of programs that support our relief and recovery response for our community and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Emergency Relief Package

On 25 March 2020, we announced a $2.5 million (updated forecast $2.8 million) emergency relief package to support those most affected in our community, including many of our traders until 30 June 2020. Up to $500,000 from our social housing fund has been made available for services supporting people experiencing homelessness and $180,000 has been allocated to an arts rescue package.

For full details on the Emergency Relief package, view the Emergency Relief Implementation Policies and Procedures document at Strategies, policies and plans, in the Funding and Relief section.

Economic and Social Recovery program

The Budget 2020/21 was adopted by Council on 20 August 2020. This budget funds $5.6 million for an Economic and Social Recovery program that builds on the $2.8 million emergency relief package for 2019/20, providing assistance to those who need it most.

It supplements rather than duplicates Victorian or Federal government assistance and was informed by feedback from our business forum held on 2 June 2020, in which 125 businesses participated.

The Economic and Social Recovery program includes:

  • providing relief from rates, rents and Council fees and charges
  • reactivating public space
  • supporting land use and statutory planning
  • reducing red tape
  • supporting businesses, volunteer sector, social connections and community resilience
  • responding to affordable housing and homelessness.

St Kilda Festival has been suspended for 2021 and the $1.7 million in savings will be set aside to be spent on economic and cultural recovery initiatives when restrictions ease. You can read more in the media release from 4 December 2020.


Ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship can apply for rate relief assistance. Relief includes the option to make regular rates payments or defer rates interest free until 30 June 2021.

For further information visit our Rates Concessions and Rates Hardship Relief.

Rent waivers

Commercial and community

Rent waivers are available for Council commercial and community tenants and licensees, including South Melbourne Market.

While the Emergency Rent Relief Package announced in March 2020 came to an end on 30 June 2020, eligible businesses may still receive fee waivers of up to 100 per cent depending on individual circumstances.

Council properties

Council is continuing to assess any new applications for rent relief from eligible Council tenants on a month by month basis until further notice. Rental waivers will be applied proportionally in line with the impact on turnover as follows:

Turnover impactDiscount (rent waiver)
0 % to < 30 %Not eligible
30 % to < 40 %40 %
40 % to < 60 %60 %
60 % to < 80 %80 %
80 % or more, or closed100 per cent

Open space, sports and recreation

Organisations relating to events and the use of open space, sporting facilities and recreation activities may be eligible for rent, licence fees or levies waivers.

For further information, call 9209 6777 or email:

Footpath trading permit fees

Footpath trading fees were waived from 1 April to 30 June 2020 as part of Council’s initial emergency relief package.

At the Council meeting on 19 August 2020 it was decided that this financial support would be extended, with footpath trading fees now waived until 31 December 2020. This includes outdoor dining settings, planter boxes, umbrellas, freestanding heaters, A-frames and goods displays.

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