Rates Assistance

Colac Otway Shire Council collects rates to help fund local infrastructure and services.


RATES COLLECTION REVIEW - Response to COVID-19 pandemic

Colac Otway Shire Council is urging community members experiencing difficulties to seek financial assistance under relevant Federal and State government assistance (https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus).

Council is anticipating that businesses and households will be worried about their potential inability to pay their rates because of reduced business income or reduced or lost employment, as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

Council has reviewed its normal procedures regarding rates collection.

Ratepayers who are unable to make payments will not be charged interest (we will review this situation before June 30) and will not be referred to debt collection.

However, to avoid the debt collection process, ratepayers must contact Council to discuss any outstanding rates, payment options and alternative arrangements.

If you require assistance as a result of the COVID-19 situation, please complete the form below.

Apply for Rates Assistance due to COVID-19

Alternatively, please phone Council’s Customer Service Centre on 5232 9400 to discuss your rates.

For further information visit Coronavirus - Information for the Community.


To help you manage your rates account, Council offers the following payment options:



Quarterly instalments

Scheduled payments are due by

  • First Instalment - 30 September 2019
  • Second Instalment - 30 November 2019
  • Third Instalment - 28 February 2020
  • Fourth Instalment - 31 May 2020

Lump sum payment

Payment of full amount due by 15 February 2020.

Flexible payment arrangement

A flexible payment schedule to pay any outstanding rates may be negotiated to suit your personal situation. Please contact Council’s rates department staff on 5232 9400 or fill out an online application to arrange a flexible rates payment schedule.

PLEASE NOTE: Rates paid by arrangement are required to be paid in full by 31 May 2020.


While all property owners receive some benefit through the payment of rates and charges, it is important Council has a mechanism to consider the needs of property owners who are suffering genuine hardship.

If you are experiencing circumstances (financial, personal or otherwise) where further hardship would be incurred if payment of Council rates were enforced, you can apply to Council for assistance.

View Council’s Policy regarding Assistance to Rates Debtors in Hardship here.

Under the policy, Council may waive interest that has already accrued and put a freeze on interest to allow you time to catch up on paying rates in arrears.

To be eligible for assistance, you must be experiencing ongoing financial hardship that is preventing you from paying the rates for your principle place residence.


Financial Counselling Services

National Debt Helpline

Phone: 1800 007 007

Not-for-profit Victorian Government service providing free, confidential phone financial counselling for Victorians experiencing financial difficulty.

Website: www.ndh.org.au

Please contact National Debt Helpline to request a referral to see a financial counsellor at your local financial counselling service.

Please also visit the Money Help website for useful information on finance matters: www.moneyhelp.org.au

How do I apply for rates assistance?

Council requires you to provide detailed information regarding your assets and liabilities, and income and expenditure in support of your application. This information is kept confidential. You can apply for rates assistance by filling out the form below.

Form-Rates-Assistance-Application-2016.pdf(PDF, 58KB)  

You can return this form in person to one of Council’s customer service centres, or via mail. The details can be found on our contact us page.