Council Planning for COVID-19: A statement from the Interim CEO

Published on 23 March 2020

The following is a statement from Interim CEO Mark Dupe:

Baw Baw Shire Council is committed to looking after the health and wellbeing of its community and staff. Our organisation is taking proactive measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are taking advice from the leading authorities seriously.

To do our part in flattening the curve of this pandemic while continuing to support our community, the following changes will be made to Council services:

Rates

Options are being investigated to postpone rates payment deadlines as well as reviewing interest charges on late payments. More information will be provided as soon as possible.

Rubbish

All kerbside rubbish collections will continue to operate as usual. This means you should continue to put you bins out on bin night. Hard waste services will also continue as normal, for more information go to Hard Waste.

Customer Service Centres and Council-run facilities, halls and venues

All Council Customer Service Centres (excluding Maternal Child and Family Health Services) as well as all Council-run facilities, halls and venues are closed until further notice.

The decision has been made to minimise face-to-face contact points and enhance social distancing measures in the interest of public health. Residents are encouraged to contact Council via phone on 1300 229 229, email, social media or Live Chat on this website.

Council meetings

Starting with the Council Meeting on Wednesday 25 March and until further notice, members of the public will not be permitted to attend Council Meetings in person. Meetings will be available to view via live streaming, available through Council’s website. Members of the public can make submissions via baw.baw@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au or by phone on 1300 229 229.

Sporting facilities

All YMCA managed facilities will remain closed until further notice. This includes the Warragul Leisure Centre, Bellbird Park Indoor Centre and all swimming pools.

Kindergartens

There are several providers of kindergarten programs across Baw Baw Shire.

All YMCA-managed kindergartens are now closed, effectively beginning school holidays early. This means that children will not be attending these kindergartens for the remainder of the week and until further notice.

We are currently seeking clarification from other providers of kindergartens in Baw Baw Shire. Parents and guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s provider directly for the most accurate information. We will update this information as soon as possible.

Kindergarten enrolment enquiries can be directed to 5624 2540.

Maternal Child and Family Health Services

Maternal Child and Family Health Services continue to operate, using alternative methods for service delivery. Face-to-face consultations are being limited where possible.

Aged and Disability Support Services

Home-based support services including meals on wheels, home maintenance and shopping supports will continue to be provided where possible in accordance with current health advice. All social support groups will cease to operate until further notice.

West Gippsland Arts Centre

Effective immediately, all theatre performances are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Additionally, the Arts Centre building will be closed until further notice. Ticket holders will be contacted directly by the team with exchange or refund details, please wait for us to get in touch with you for the next steps. The Albert & Smith restaurant will also close until further notice, this includes take away options.

Council-led public events

Effective immediately, all non-essential Council run events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. This includes Council pop-ups and public consultation sessions.

Local business support

Local businesses can contact Council’s Economic Development team to help navigate through all the information available, obtain the right assistance (from State and Federal Governments) and access other support resources. Businesses can call 1300 229 229 or email economic.development@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au


This is a rapidly changing situation and these measures are subject to change as per advice from State and Federal agencies.

During this time, Council has a critical role to play in serving our most vulnerable community members. Council has an adopted Pandemic Plan and Business Continuity Plan to ensure vital Council services are minimally impacted. Council’s Pandemic Plan is publicly available via Council’s website.

We thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we continue to work together for the health and safety of our community and staff.

For the most up to date information and latest advice about the coronavirus outbreak, always go to www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Council is also regularly updating our website with relevant information. Find out more at www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

 

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