Financial Support

We understand that financial difficulties can happen to anyone at any time.

For example, you may have experienced:

  • a loss of or change in income
  • a serious illness, disability or death in the family
  • a separation, divorce or other family crisis
  • a natural disaster like flooding or bushfire
  • other personal problems contributing to financial hardship.

If you are having difficulty paying your account, call us on 03 5760 2600.

How can we help?

There are a number of ways we can assist, depending on your situation. Click on the menu item below that most suits what you were hoping to get assistance with, or give our friendly Customer Relations team a call on 03 5760 2600


Pensioners and eligible concession card holders are entitled to discounted rates and charges.

Reduce Bin Size

Bigger is not necessarily better. Larger bins are heavier to move and will cost you more each year.

If your waste (red) and/or organic (green) bin is larger than 80L, you can request a smaller one for a reduced cost. Please note the cost of recycling bins does not change with size.

To order a smaller bin, download the relevant form below and lodge with Council or call us on 03 5760 2600.

  • Only property owners, authorised property managers and authorised ratepayers can change the size of household bins.


Direct Debit (Bill Smoothing)

Direct Debit is a great way to smooth your instalments out into even, predictable payments by spreading your annual rates & charges over the entire year. This helps reduce the stress of ‘bill shock’ and makes it easier for households to budget their finances.

Choose from weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment schedules.

This arrangement is ongoing. Council will write to you each August to review the amount being debited based on the annual rates and charges for the new financial year.

Ratepayers who utilise this method are not subject to penalty interest - regardless of the due date – provided the arrangement is in place.

To apply, please fill in the below online form.



Additional Time to Pay

If you require additional time to pay the rates, please call 03 5760 2600 or email to discuss an extension of time. An extension of time provides additional time to make payment, however during this period, interest may be applied on any overdue balance.

Payment Plans

If you find yourself in financial difficulty and have an overdue rates balance, you can apply for a formal Payment Plan.

Payment Plans are agreements covered under legislation that protect vulnerable ratepayers. While the Payment Plan is current and being complied with, Council cannot apply penalty interest. Additionally, Council is unable to commence legal proceedings against a ratepayer unless it has been at least two years since a Payment Plan has been cancelled/ended.

You may not be eligible to enter into a new Payment Plan if a previous Payment Plan has been cancelled.

To apply, please fill in the online form. A hardcopy of the form is also available.

For more information on Payment Plans, please refer to ‘Division 2 – Payment of Rates and Charges’ within the Local Government Act 1989.



Hardship Consideration

Hardship consideration is an option offered to owner-occupied property owners experiencing financial hardship. Where property owners are assessed and provided hardship consideration, assistance can be provided in one or more of the following:

  1. waiver of penalty interest or legal costs
  2. deferral of a part of the balance of the rates

(a) Interest may be waived if we have made an error or under exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances include:

  • Compassionate grounds – ratepayers may have interest waived where they have demonstrated compassionate grounds for a payment being late. Acceptable compassionate grounds would generally relate to a family illness or death.
  • Financial hardship – ratepayers may have interest or part interest waived where they have demonstrated that the payment of such interest would cause severe financial hardship.

(b) Deferring your rates & charges payments means that for a period of time, you won’t have to make payments. Depending on the circumstances, interest may still be charged over this time and you’ll also need to pay back the total amount in full eventually.

To apply for a deferral, download a copy of the relevant form below.

Budget Tools

Work out where your money is going via the federal government's Money Smart budget planner below.


Financial Counselling

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some help in dealing with any financial stress, a financial counsellor could help. The National Debt Helpline can offer free, confidential and independent support and advice – and referral to local financial counsellors.

Visit the below website or call 1800 007 007 to find more information on the support options available.


Support Services

Ask Izzy is a website that connects people in need with local housing, a meal, money help, family violence support, counselling and much more. It is free and anonymous, with thousands of services listed across Australia.

1800RESPECT offers confidential information, counselling and support services.


You can look at our Financial Hardship Policy and Debt Management Policy below.