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Payment Arrangements and Financial Hardship

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your rates by the prescribed due date you can set up a payment arrangement on direct debit or self-manage your payments.

Flexi-Pay payment arrangement 

You can pay your rates in smaller amounts to suit your budget (weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly) via Council’s direct debit payment platform FlexiPay.

  • It is completely self-serve and easy to set up.
  • You will need a valid email address, contact number and your eNotices reference number located on the top right-hand corner of your most recent rates notice
  • The correct amount to pay will be calculated for you, ensuring balances are paid before the end of the financial year.
  • Any requests that include arrears or flow into future financial years will not be automatically approved and sent to the Revenue Department for approval.

Submit your FlexiPay direct debit request here

Once approved, you will receive a confirmation email to enter your payment details (bank account or credit card). Requests that do not provide payment details after a period of time will be cancelled.

Self-managed payment arrangement 

If you prefer to pay manually according to the payment options on your rates notice (not direct debit) please submit your proposed payment arrangement via payment arrangement request form.

You will then receive a confirmation of arrangement email/contact within 5 business days or a letter will be posted. The response times may be longer during busy periods. 

During this waiting period, please commence any payments you can.

All payment arrangements

  • will be managed by Council.
  • must include a commencement date no more than 14 days of submitting the proposal.
  • may be cancelled, charged interest and/or referred to debt collection if instalment(s) are not paid OR your account dishonours more than once.
  • will still be sent rates notices, however, please disregard as they are for your reference.

Financial Hardship

What is financial hardship?

According to Council’s Financial Hardship Policy it is defined as ‘difficulty meeting everyday living expenses’ which may include: food, accommodation, clothing, health care, transport costs, education, and other basic necessities.

Some of the main reasons that can cause financial hardship include:

  • Health issues and associated expenses
  • Loss of employment
  • Covid-19 and associated side effects
  • Unforeseen circumstances
  • Severe mortgage stress and/or financial overcommitment

View Council’s Financial Hardship Policy documents.

How can Council help?

Whilst Council is unable to waive rates, we can offer various other avenues of support for those experiencing financial hardship. This includes deferrals, payment plans, and waivers of interest and collection costs.

We can also provide meaningful information on other financial assistance programs that might be available and/or referrals to appropriate support services specialising in family violence, financial counselling and food and material aid.


Generally, there is no formal application form used to determine eligibility but rather residents will be assessed on a case-by-case basis via a meaningful two-way conversation.

Some of the indicators that may highlight a customer’s need for assistance are:

  • History of frequent requests for payment extensions or payment arrangements that have not been met
  • Unable to afford the costs of current financial obligations, even if smoothed over a 12-month period
  • Payment history that indicates past difficulty of meeting their financial obligations to Council
  • Eligibility for Government funded concessions (e.g. Health Care Card, Centrelink benefit)
  • Sudden change of circumstances that adversely affects their financial capacity to pay
  • Referral from a financial counselling agency or community organisation
  • Asylum seekers or refugees who have limited access to financial stability
  • People experiencing health and mental health issues
  • Having identified as a victim of family violence
  • Having a low level of income, that is unlikely to change
  • Currently unemployed.

Please note: to allow Council to extend a meaningful level of support to genuine hardship applicants, Council may be unable to assess applications involving investment properties or properties that are not lived in by the applicant.

How can I apply?

If you are unable to meet your payment obligations and need some assistance please contact Council on 9217 2170 or fill out the below enquiry form and the Financial Hardship Support Officer will contact you within 10 business days to discuss further.

Submit a financial hardship enquiry form

Do you need further assistance?

Whittlesea Community Connections has developed a Financial Wellbeing booklet that provides information on how to manage your money. It also lists resources, support services as well as food and material aid services in your area.