Press Release from Mayor G Massey – 26 March 2020

From the Mayor,

On Covid-19 and its impact on Council services and our community

It has been an extraordinary time for our community, country and the world as the realities of Covid-19 are felt. We expect that over the coming weeks and months, additional change and the ramifications of that change will be felt deeply and we as a Council are assessing what that means for the delivery of services to the people we serve; the community.

Council has already taken a number of steps as part of its Pandemic Sub Plan and Business Continuity Planning process and the impacts of these on the community including; reduced face to face interactions, closure of caravan parks and some public toilets as well as additional cleaning of public spaces and staff delivering Meals on Wheels instead of our amazing volunteers. These are all measures designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

We know that our population is vulnerable in a number of ways because of our older demographics but we also know that we have a community that is vigilant, diligent and that has a strong community mindedness.

Council Staff, 85% of whom reside in Yarriambiack and 15% whom reside in adjoining Council areas  are an important part of our community response as well and they have stepped up to the challenging circumstances by modifying the way they operate. Some staff have been redirected to identified needs such as food security and access as well as additional support in Economic Development to assist with our business sector support.

Council will waive interest on 19/20 rates arrears and penalties on animal registrations and health premise registration because we understand that residents have bigger challenges they are facing right now. Council will continue to work with the Local Government industry as well as state and federal governments to identify the best way to assist our community through this period and through the recovery phase.

Council may not get it right all the time. We are faced with a scenario that is constantly changing and we are beholden to state and federal government directives. What I can say is that Council will use all of its resources to act for and advocate on behalf of our community through this period. This is not business as usual for Council, this is business continuity so that we are best placed to serve the community at all times.

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