City of Newcastle extends COVID-19 community support

City of Newcastle extends COVID-19 community support

City of Newcastle will invest at least $10 million into the local economy to help create new jobs following a Lord Mayoral Minute unanimously supported by the Council.

The Lord Mayoral Minute called for an expanded Community and Economic Resilience Package (CERP) to help combat the economic and social impacts of the current lockdown of the city in response to the Delta strain of COVID-19 that has gripped NSW.

The package builds on last year’s $5.5 million investment and includes rapid response grants aimed at supporting vulnerable and emerging at-risk community members, business training and mentoring programs, as well as economic development and community grants.

Hardship support will help those under financial strain, while the focus of existing sponsorship programs will be shifted to provide a roadmap to support Newcastle’s recovery out of lockdown.

Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle has an important role to play in providing targeted responses and building confidence in the city’s ability to rebound from the impacts of COVID-19.

“When the pandemic was declared last year, we moved quickly to deliver social, economic and well-being outcomes that would support our community through the impacts that were still to come. The result was our $5.5 million Community and Economic Resilience Program, which has been formally acknowledged as the best response from a local government anywhere in NSW,” Nuatali said.

“With the latest outbreak of COVID-19 placing further strain on our community, it’s clear our job is far from over. The current stay-at-home orders, as well as Greater Sydney’s and interstate protracted lockdowns, have had a direct impact on our local economy, with hotel occupancy rates plummeting, and local unemployment reversing its downward trend with young people, casual workers and part-time workers seeing significant losses of vital shifts at work, many losing their jobs altogether.

“We’re expanding the Community and Economic Resilience Program with initiatives that will provide our community with what it needs now and create a way forward towards recovery.

“Our resilience package has been informed by experts and seeks to focus on areas where local government has a clear strength and mandate.”

City of Newcastle will also identify projects that could be expedited or re-prioritised to stimulate the local economy through the delivery of new and upgraded community infrastructure.

“Increasing the 2021/22 works program by $10 million would help create more than 100 new jobs in the local government area and increase total economic output by more than $27 million,” she continued.

Under the extended CERP, grants will enable the community sector and social services industry to amplify their capacity to support vulnerable and emerging at-risk community members, while economic development grants will provide targeted support to some of the most affected local industries including the arts, entertainment, hospitality, and tourism sectors.

The City’s Lean in Newy app continues to bolster the small business sector through rebates, with thousands of members taking part in the targeted acts of community kindness to earn points that can be redeemed at more than 100 participating businesses.

City of Newcastle is also funding free or heavily subsidised training courses designed to improve the resilience and adaptability of local businesses, and to assist Novocastrians develop their skills and talent.

This includes a range of workshops, self-paced learning, intensive programs, and mentoring funded under our NewSkills program, including a new round of our Tourism Product Development Program to support businesses learn more about developing unique and marketable visitor offerings.

There’s also thousands of e-learning courses and video tutorials with real-world industry experts available free from our Libraries.

The courses are delivered free via an online learning platform on topics such as resume writing, skills for retraining, and how to start a business.

IMAGE | Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes with Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church Pantry volunteer Tashi Dhendup. City of Newcastle’s rapid response grants have previously supported the Pantry to provide basic food supplies to individuals and families in need.

City of Newcastle

In 2030, Newcastle will be a smart, liveable and sustainable city.

Council developed and adopted a suite of strategic documents to guide delivery of Council's seven key strategic directions, outlined in the Newcastle 2030 Community Strategic Plan.

  •  A Connected City
  •  A Protected and Enhanced Environment
  •  Vibrant and Activated Public Places
  •  A Caring and Inclusive Community
  •  A Liveable and Distinctive Built Environment
  •  A Smart and Innovative City
  •  Open and Collaborative Leadership

This planning strategy has assisted in the delivery of a City Revitalisation Program that has encouraged a large investment in the City by both Government and private investors that are willing to prove that Newcastle is ready for change.   

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