Dr Mike Freelander says that most of the calls to his electorate office in Campbelltown in the last few days have been from people who have suddenly lost their jobs and are desperate for help.
“That’s mostly what we’ve been getting, people wanting help to register with Centrelink because they have bills to pay and families to feed,’’ says the federal member for Macarthur.
He says that’s why he’s has called on local councils to help out local people in dire straits through no fault of their own.
Dr Freelander says councils should reduce their rates by 10 percent or more to release some of the financial pressure local residents find themselves in as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We all have to play our part to help these people and local councils ought to as well,’’ he said.
Dr Freelander has written to all mayors and general managers within the Macarthur region, the Minister for Local Government and his state counterparts, to ask them to act.
“As I am sure you are aware, families are under increasing financial pressures with the outbreak of Covid-19, and I believe that we need a holistic approach across all levels of government to address this crisis,” the Member for Macarthur wrote.
“I am requesting that councils consider reducing rates by 10 percent or more, to ease the burden on people in these difficult times.”
The call for a rates cut came as more and more Macarthur residents are facing financial hardship, with many residents losing their jobs, losing their shifts, or else having to shut their business.
Closures have included a string of hospitality outlets such as cafes and restaurants, as well as big employers like Wests Leagues Club.
“Every day I hear harrowing stories from Macarthur residents who are doing it tough,’’ Dr Freelander said.
“These are extremely difficult times, and I would like to see an ease on the burdens that families and businesses are faced with.
“We need leadership from all levels of government during this difficult time, and we must pool our resources and work together wherever possible.
“It is incumbent on us all to do our part to help people get through this crisis.
“That includes individuals self-isolating, and it includes governments easing the pressures placed on family budgets.”