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Media Release - Coronavirus Advice

18th March 2020

Council and staff have been reviewing and implementing Council’s Business Continuity Plan in preparation and response to the pending effects of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Strategies are being implemented to ensure continuation of our services, particularly the essential services to our community.

Whilst it is business as usual for the time being, it is expected that at some stage, a number of staff may be off work at the same time, either due to self-illness or the need to look after children and other family members, or in self isolation due to exposure to an infected person.

Dependent on the number of staff off work and the need to deploy staff to critical and essential areas, a number of non-essential services may need to be either stopped or the present levels of service reduced.   Priority of staffing will always be afforded to water, sewerage, waste disposal and general community hygiene activities.

Some actions being taken at present include:

  1. Determining telecommunication and logistical issues for work from home arrangements;
  2. Increased community area cleaning regimes;
  3. Ensuring adequate supplies for cleaning disinfectant and other essential supplies;
  4. Consideration of separate work groups and reducing social contact;
  5. Education on prevention and mitigation techniques; and
  6. Consideration and compliance with changes being implemented by State and Federal Agencies.

With a view to protecting our staff, we are looking at ways of either limiting public contact, or ensuring appropriate social distancing is in place. We are asking the public to avoid or limit visiting the Council offices or workspaces where at all possible, particularly if feeling unwell or symptomatic.

‘Social distancing’ offers practical ways to increase physical space between others to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus at home, in the workplace, in public and schools. 

In support of this advice from authorities Council requests all customers to consider and start practicing ways to submit enquiries via website, email, or phone 4776 4600 rather than attending Council in person. 

Council is not proposing office closures at this point, and alternative forms of contact will make it easier to continue doing business without compromise to its level of service.

The Federal Government has established clear delegations to all levels of Government in managing the pandemic, and Council is implementing specific measures to minimise disruption of its workforce in order to maintain essential services, while protecting the community and staff.

We also ask that you follow any instructions provided by Council, or staff as required. You will start seeing signs around the community to practice proper hygiene and cough etiquette etc. These directions are to help protect and should not be ignored.

This is not a “someone should” scenario. This is a “we must all do” situation and if we all work together in observing the proper protocols, we have a better chance of assisting our health systems cope with those most in need.

As a community we will need to remain vigilant following information from authorities and be ready to modify our priorities as the situation changes.

If you have any concerns, please ring Council on 4776 4600 at your convenience.

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