COUNCILLOR Jess Jennings has stressed the importance of Bathurst Regional Council having an economic recovery package to help the community return to normal after COVID-19.
Council has not been immune from the impacts of the virus, having to make changes to its daily operations and close a long list of its facilities.
However, at the same time as its managing that, council is having discussions about how it can help the community when the health crisis is over.
Its role in the recovery will be vital.
"I think it's paramount, it's a really critical aspect of the recovery," Cr Jennings said.
"Having a strong, proactive council can be the difference between the community having confidence and not having confidence to go out and spend a dollar.
"... It's going to be an incredibly important time for our council to step up."
Cr Jennings said that an economic recovery package isn't about handing out money, but rather progressing infrastructure projects and events to stimulate spending.
"Hopefully putting some more capital works into the system, more infrastructure, spending, those sorts of things will enable the private sector to come back to life," he said.
In terms of events, things that can get people out into the community and spending will be able to help stimulate the economy.
Cr Jennings said that it was also critical that motor sport events continue to be held during the recovery period as they are big economic drivers for Bathurst.
"Those things really need to come back bigger and better than they were before to make up for lost ground and lay a path for future success," he said.
What council can do to help in the economic recovery from the virus will rely a lot on help from the state and federal governments, Cr Jennings said.
"A critical factor will be what kind of state and federal support comes in, because the reality is that council only has ratepayers as a guaranteed source of income and the ratepayers are going to be feeling a lot of pain, so we may not be able to rely on that rate base as we have in the past," he said.
"Therefore, we need to look to state and federal sources for some kind of economy recovery package."
Cr Jennings said he would also support waiving council rates to businesses and farmers, but "only if it is funded by state or federal dollars".