Financial assistance

Financial support is available for Hobsons Bay residents and businesses 

There is genuine and discreet support for residents and businesses impacted by the pandemic. A Community Support Package Focus Group, representing a cross section of the community, was instrumental in helping shape the targeted rate reductions including interest-free rate deferrals and rate waivers. Ratepayers who have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for financial assistance to reduce the amount owing on their rates by 1 December 2021, in-line with the second-rate instalment. 

Eligibility for rates waiver

  • Residential ratepayers whose income has dropped by 30 per cent and maximum combined current household income is less than $80,000 will be eligible to receive a rate waiver.
  • Business ratepayers whose turnover has reduced by 20 per cent will be eligible to receive a rate waiver.

The exact amounts to be waived will be determined in line with the allocation of approximately $525,000 after the number of eligible applicants is determined.

Complete the Rates Financial Assistance application (please wait for the form to open, can take up to 30 seconds) 

Interest free rate deferral 

Approximately $450,000 has been set aside for ratepayers to apply for an interest free rate deferral until 31 December 2021 and then interest free repayment plans thereafter. To apply, use the Rates Financial Assistance application (please wait for the form to load).  

Council will also be waiving an estimated $375,000 rate interest previously raised to ratepayers with a good payment history prior to COVID-19. No action is required as this will be automatically applied by Council. 

Financial Hardship Policy

Council’s Financial Hardship Policy(PDF, 363KB) and COVID-19 Financial Assistance Policy(PDF, 324KB) aims to support Hobsons Bay residents and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Council is committed to ensuring all members of the Hobsons Bay community have access to the same information.
To support members of our community from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds the Financial Hardship flier has been translated into 15 different languages, please view the PDF documents below. To support members of the community with cognitive impairments or English speakers with low literacy, Council has translated the Financial Hardship flyer into Easy English, please view the word document below.

Where can you get help?

Financial & Consumer Rights Council of Victoria (FCRC) is the peak body for Financial Counsellors in Victoria and can help you find a financial counsellor – visit for more information.  

The National Debt Helpline provides free, confidential counselling for people experiencing financial difficulty - visit or call 1800 007 007 for more information.

Hardship support services in Hobsons Bay and other referral points

There are many organisations in the Hobsons Bay community to support you during challenging situations including financial counselling help, emergency relief, utility relief and support, mental health, older people support services, LGBTIQA+ services, alcohol and other drug support, and legal help. Please view the flyer Hardship Support and other referral points(PDF, 599KB)

Community Connector 

If you are having trouble meeting your basic needs, email us at or phone 1300 179 944 and ask for the Community Connector. Immediate support includes food hampers, cleaning supplies, nappies and pet food. Counselling, employment and training information are also provided as part of the Community Connector program.