$500 million fund to keep Vic businesses going

The Victorian government has invited local councils to join the $500 million Working for Victoria Fund to ensure services continue to be delivered.

The government is working with councils with a specific focus on small rural councils to consider the implications of coronavirus on their operations including staff welfare.

Local government minister Adem Somyurek, and Jobs minister Martin Pakula wrote to Victorian councils to advise they must continue to provide critical community functions.

In a statement, the state government said one of the important ways councils could respond to coronavirus is to “not add to the number of Victorian who have lost their job”.

“Councils have a vital role to play in supporting and protecting local communities during these unprecedented times and dismissing or standing down staff is not consistent with that,” Somyurek said.

A wide range of councils across the state have taken measures over the past week to protect their staff and redouble efforts to support vulnerable community members, according to the statement.

“Through no fault of their own, many people have found themselves out of a job and facing an uncertain future – we are asking all Victorian councils and businesses to do everything they can to preserve jobs wherever possible,” Pakula said.