The 12 local governments around the South West region have all endorsed a range of economic and community measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to relieve pressure from ratepayers. Augusta Margaret River, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Boyup Brook, Capel, Dardanup, Manjimup, Bunbury, Busselton, Collie, Donnybrook, Harvey and Nannup have all committed to a rates freeze. The City of Bunbury also decided to suspend interest charges and debt collection on current outstanding rates at the meetings in March and April. Lease and rental payments for select City-owned property was suspended and promotional campaigns such as buy local, support local and care for our community were implemented. To stimulate the local economy, the City of Bunbury increased its focus on local procurement, fast tracked payments to a 14-day payment period, and gave consideration to the early release of contractor bonds and deposits. A flexible response to all payment arrangements with suspension of penalties was implemented by the Capel Shire Council at the meeting in April. The council also started preparation for businesses and community to recover and reconnect after COVID-19 and prioritised local government spending with local businesses and contractors. Collie councillors voted to waive penalty interest on unpaid rates at their meeting in March and anticipated an impact of between $92,700 and $123,600. Community engagement was key for the Shire of Dardanup staff who focused on maintaining a connection with residents through the creation of the “I Heart Dardanup” Facebook group. Dardanup council also endorsed a projected rate revenue increase of 0 per cent for the 2020-21 budget with a 0 per cent increase in minimum rates. Donnybrook-Ballingup council members agreed to increase promotion and support for local businesses and introduced weekly payment of invoices to help with cash flow. A COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy was also adopted at the April meeting. Refunds on booking fees for council events and assets and rent relief to tenants of council properties were measures both Harvey and Nannup shire councils took to support their communities through the crisis.