Community Assistance Directory

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Community Assistance Directory is a guide for local community members to find information on the support services available during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Council continues to deliver its many community services across the Shire and we encourage residents to seek the support of the services in the directory, as needed.

For further enquiries, please contact Council’s Customer Service on 5220 7111.

Quickly navigate this page by clicking a section link below:



For regular updates on the current status of, and announcements on, the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the following websites or call these hotlines:

Australian Government's National Coronavirus Helpline

Call for information, updates and advice on COVID-19.

Call: 1800 020 080


Australian Government Department of Health

Information on COVID-19 including the current status, symptoms, and how to stop the spread of the virus.

Call: 1800 020 080


Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Directions on restricted activities and community guidelines for COVID-19.

Call: 1300 650 172


Victorian Coronavirus Hotline

Call for information, updates and advice on COVID-19 in Victoria.

Call: 1800 675 398


Government Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Current response plan on COVID-19.

Call: (02) 6289 1555





For information on accessing emergency relief services, please visit:


CatholicCare’s Emergency Relief provides financial or material aid to assist people experiencing financial hardship in Central Highlands region. Emergency Relief can be accessed by anyone experiencing a financial crisis which has left them unable to pay for necessities such as food or fuel.

Call: (03) 9287 5512



There are many food relief services operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. For assistance accessing food, please visit:

Golden Plains Shire Council

Emergency Relief Packs: A limited supply of emergency relief packs are available for people in urgent need. The individual packs contain items such as pasta, rice, flour and essential household items including toilet paper.

For more information of emergency relief packs, call Council’s Customer Service at 5220 7111.

Food Relief Services

List of food relief service providers accessible during the COVID-19 crisis.

Call: 1800 022 222


Food Bank

Supplies food and groceries to charities working in the community.

Call: (03) 9362 8300


Ballarat Community Health: SecondBite program

Redistributes surplus fresh food, builds community capacity in food skills and nutrition, and advocates for an end to food insecurity.

Call: (03) 5338 4545



The following local supermarkets are open to customers, with changes to hours of operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woolworths, Bannockburn

Community hours are: elderly and people with disability: 7 to 8am on Wednesday and Friday; and healthcare and emergency services workers: 7 to 8am on Tuesday and Thursday.

Call: (03) 5281 4100


‘Woolworths Basic Boxes’

These boxes are available to support elderly and vulnerable people during isolation.

Call: 1800 000 610


Smythesdale IGA

Operating hours are 7:30am to 7:30pm, every day.

Call: (03) 5342 8778





For advice on supporting loved ones in aged care facilities or in your own home, visit the following websites:

Department of Health and Human Services

COVID-19 plan for the aged care sector in Victoria.

Call: 1300 650 172


Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 advice for people in aged care facilities.

Call: 1800 020 103


Department of Health: Home Care Providers

COVID-19 guide for home care providers.

Call: 1800 020 103


Department of Health: Residential Workers

COVID-19 information for health care and residential care workers.

Call: 1800 020 103


Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

COVID-19 information and resources.

Call: 1800 951 822


Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Active Ageing and Inclusion team can offer you support as you navigate the My Aged Care system and ensure you are provided the information you need to apply for services.

Contact the Assessment and Navigation Officer on 5220 7151 for further information.

Disability Support

For information and resources about supporting people with a disability through the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the following websites:

Department of Social Services

COVID-19 information and support for people with disability and carers.

Call: 1800 643 787



COVID-19 information and support.

Call: 1800 800 110


National Quality and Safeguards Commission - NDIS Commission

COVID-19 information

Call: 1800 035 544


Disability Service Consulting

Disability Pandemic Resources to assist with planning and keeping up to date with the latest NDIS policy responses.

Call: (03) 8899 7804


Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Active Ageing and Inclusion team are committed to removing barriers for our ageing community and those living with a disability, by providing an inclusive, accessible and supportive environment for all.

Contact the Access and Inclusion Officer on 5220 7151 for further information.



Many regular doctors’ clinics continue to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic. The following local medical clinics are open to patients:

Bannockburn Surgery

Providing flu vaccinations when stock available.

Address: 16 High Street, Bannockburn, 3331

Call: (03) 5281 1481

Golden Plains Medical Centre

Providing flu vaccinations when stock available.

Address: 59 Geelong Road, Bannockburn, 3331

Call: (03) 5281 2320

Teesdale Family Medical Centre

Providing flu vaccinations when stock available.

Address: 33 Bruce Street, Teesdale, 3328

Call: 5214 9912

First Point Medical Centre

Providing flu vaccinations when stock available.

Address: 32 Staughton Street, Meredith, 3333

Call: (03) 5274 9090


Pharmacies are an essential service that will continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lethbridge Pharmacy

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 1 to 6pm

Address: 17A Russell Street, Lethbridge, 3332

Call: (03) 5281 7187


Bannockburn Pharmacy

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am to 1pm

Address: 6 High Street, Bannockburn, 3331

Call: (03) 5281 1519


Smythesdale Pharmacy

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am to 1pm

Address: 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale, 3351

Call: (03) 5342 8695


Teesdale Pharmacy

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am to 1pm

Address: 2/1071 Bannockburn- Shelford Road, Teesdale, 3328

Call: (03) 5281 5614


Healthline Pharmacy Meredith

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8am to 3pm

Address: 44 Staughton Street, Meredith, 3333

Call: (03) 5286 1428


Allied Health and Support Services

Contact the following local Allied Health and Support Service organisations directly for information around service provision and booking appointments for face-to-face or telehealth consultations.

Ballarat Community Health

Services provided: Podiatry, falls prevention, dietetics, exercise classes

Service delivery locations: The Well, Smythesdale, Bannockburn Family Services Centre (diabetics)

Call: (03) 5338 4500


Barwon Health

Services provided: Speech pathology, dietetics, podiatry

Service delivery location: Bannockburn Family Services Centre

Call: 1300 715 673



Services provided: Podiatry

Service delivery location: The Well, Smythesdale

Call: (03) 5334 1500


Hesse Rural Health

Services provided: District nursing, physiotherapy, diabetes educator, occupational therapy, home care package provider

Service delivery locations: Bannockburn Family Services Centre, Rokewood Community Health Centre, In home care

Call: (03) 5267 1247


Waurn Ponds Hearing Clinic

Services provided: Audiology

Service delivery location: Bannockburn Family Services Centre

Call: (03) 5245 7940


Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people in varying ways both physically and mentally, with many people feeling anxious, lonely, worried and overwhelmed. The following websites provide valuable resources, support and coping strategies to assist the community through these difficult times:

Life in Mind

Links to mental health support services including Headspace, Kids Helpline, Butterfly Foundation, Reach Out, Black Dog Institute and MindSpot.

Call: (02) 4924 6900


Beyond Blue

Mental health support and coping with anxiety during the COVID19 pandemic. Dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service and hotline.

Call: 1800 512 348



Support, tips and coping strategies.

Call: 13 11 14


Red Cross

Support for mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call: 1800 733 276


Department of Health

COVID-19 Mental Health Plan.

Call: 1800 020 080


Golden Plains Shire Council

Providing a weekly social call to connect with those who feel isolated or alone during this time.

Call Customer Service: (03) 5220 7111


Family Services and Support

Family Support

For information on family support resources, visit the following websites:

Australian Government Support Payment

Payments to support households, information on eligibility and government payment options.

Call: 1800 020 008


Services Australia

Information on family payments and child support for people affected by COVID-19.

Call: 13 62 40



Research shows that family violence increases during emergencies and natural disasters. The following websites and hotlines are support services that are accessible to anyone experiencing any form of family violence.

Family Violence Support (National)

Includes free confidential counselling and support for victims of family violence.

Call: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Family violence support (local)

The Orange Door is a free service that helps women, children and young people experiencing family violence and families who need support with the care and wellbeing of children.

Call: 1800 312 820


Safe Steps

24/7 family violence specialist support service.

Call: 1800 015 188


The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre

Provides 24-hour immediate crisis care and support for anyone who has experienced a recent sexual assault. Also offers free and confidential trauma-informed counselling and case management to support women and children experiencing family violence.

Call: (03) 5222 4318


Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

Information and advice on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacts those experiencing family violence and their friends and family.

Call: (03) 8346 5200


Support for Immigrant Women

Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence: Help in non-English languages.

Call: 1800 755 988


CatholicCare Victims Assistance Program

The Victims Assistance Program provides information, practical supports and service referrals for victims of a violent crime or anyone affected by a violent crime.

Call: 1300 033 818



The following services provide support to men in relation to maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing:

Men’s Line Australia

Supporting mental health during COVID-19.

Call: 1300 789 978


Men’s Referral Service

Access to support services for men.

Call: 1300 766 491



With all the changes happening in the community, it is important to stay connected and support our communities. Listed below are some local community support groups:

Ross Creek and Smythes Creek Support Group


Linton Community Assistance

Connecting community members who are self-isolating or simply finding it harder to get essential items.


Financial Support

Financial support is available to help community members manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal and State Governments have announced new measures to provide support to affected employees, businesses and the broader community. For more information, visit the following websites:

Australian Government

Stimulus package information, support for individuals.

Call: 1800 020 008 



Information and services available including advice on government payments and eligibility.

Call: 13 62 40


Money Smart

COVID-19 Financial Assistance.

Call: 1300 208 215


Australian Taxation Office

Support for individuals and employees.

Call: 13 28 61


Financial hardship

National Debt Hotline

Free financial counselling

Call: 1800 007 007


Golden Plains Shire

Ratepayers and residents experiencing financial hardship have access to the following financial relief measures from Council:

  • Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for Golden Plains Shire ratepayers
  • Suspension of all current debt recovery action for unpaid 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020.
  • Waive interest on overdue 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020.
  • Waive penalties for late payment on pet registration fees through to 30 September 2020.
  • New payment plans available for animal registration renewals.

For more information, call Council’s Customer Service on 5220 7111.


Utility Relief Grant Scheme

The Victorian Government's Utility Relief Grant Scheme provides eligible Victorians with Pensioner, Health Care or Veterans Gold cards, and who are facing financial hardship or high rental costs, with up to $650 on each utility type across a two-year period or $1,300 for those with a single source of energy. Apply to electricity, gas or water retailers.

Call: Concessions information line 1800 658 521




Telstra is offering unlimited standard home phone calls for pensioners, abolishing late payment fees for bills from 19 March to 30 June 2020, and discounting fees for customers on JobSeeker payments.

Call: 13 22 00



Optus is offering customers the option of suspending their current plan if they do not require the service, while temporarily waiving late payment fees and suspending disconnection and credit collection activities.

Call: 13 39 37


NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme)


Centacare provides the NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme) program in our Central Highlands and Mallee catchments. NILS supports people on low incomes to access small no-interest loans up to $1,500, to purchase significant or essential new household items, services, medical equipment, tools or educational items.

Call: 1300 303 988


Business Support

Australian Government

Financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses.

Call: 13 28 46


Golden Plains Business Support Hub

Information on Federal and State Government support and assistance for businesses, as well as the following support initiatives from Council:

  • Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for local businesses.
  • Commitment to pay invoices from all local businesses within 14 days to support cash flow.
  • Refund of all permit fees for events and activities that have been cancelled or closed as directed by Government.
  • Extension of time applications for business related septic tank and planning permits expiring before 30 September 2020 can be lodged at no cost.
  • New allowance for commercial businesses to reduce their waste collection arrangements if necessary.
  • Free mentoring support for small businesses experiencing hardship.
  • Dedicated COVID-19 business support page on Council's website with links to Federal and State Government programs: Visit this Page
  • Access to dedicated business support officer within Council for local businesses to receive individual assistance.

For more information, call Council’s Customer Service on 5220 7111.



Children and Youth Services

Communicating with children during the COVID-19 pandemic

The following links provide information on how to talk to children about COVID-19, as well as fun and engaging resources to keep children entertained and ease their concerns.

Emerging Minds

Resources to assist parents and carers to best support children and reduce worry and distress.

Call: (08) 8367 0888


Royal Children’s Hospital

Supporting children and young people to cope with COVID-19.

Call: (03) 9345 5522


Raising Children

COVID-19: talking with children about physical distancing and self-isolation.

Call: 1800 020 080



Six ways parents can support their kids through the COVID-19 outbreak.


World Health Organisation

Helping children cope with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Maternal and Child Health

Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Maternal and Child Health Service continues with modified service delivery, adhering to health and hygiene recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services, at The Well, 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale; Teesdale Kindergarten, 1107 Bannockburn-Shelford Road; and Bannockburn Family Services Centre, 2A Pope Street.

In order to continue to provide services to families, Council's Maternal and Child Health services are adopting alternative modes of service delivery, including telephone and electronic consultations. To accommodate these changes, services may need to re-schedule some routine appointments. Families with a scheduled appointment will receive a text message containing information on the time and method in which the nurse will make contact. Please note: drop-in and group sessions have ceased until further notice.

For more information on changes to service delivery or to book an appointment, call (03) 5220 7230 or email [email protected]

Maternal and Child Health Hotline: 13 22 29

A free and confidential service available to parents and families with children from birth to commencing school age. The Maternal and Child Health Line is staffed by qualified Maternal and Child Health nurses. Parents can ring the MCH Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get information, support and guidance on issues including child health, nutrition, breastfeeding, maternal and family health, and parenting.

Call: 13 22 29

Childhood Immunisations

The childhood immunisation service in Golden Plains Shire is provided by City of Ballarat. All sessions will continue as scheduled.

Please note that the City of Ballarat immunisation teams are implementing additional health screening measures with only one primary caregiver and a child to be present during immunisation. Extended family, siblings and partners are requested not to attend. These measures enable essential service delivery to continue, and protects families and the City of Ballarat healthcare workforce.

The following upcoming childhood immunisation clinics will be held in Golden Plains Shire:

Bannockburn Family Services Centre

2A Pope Street, Bannockburn

10.30 to 11.30am, 19 May and 16 June 2020

Linton Customer Service Centre

68 Sussex Street, Linton

11 to 11.30am, 5 May and 2 June 2020

Call : City of Ballarat on (03) 5320 5850

Youth Services and Support

The following links provide tips and resources to support young people through the crisis.


Mental health support for young people under 25 years old.

Call: 1800 650 890


Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Plains Shire Council is hosting a range of free online engagement activities for young people during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Motivational Monday: A series of guest presenters
  • Trivia Tuesday: Free, fun and fast quizzes from 4:30 to 5pm
  • Wellbeing Wednesday: A series of short home-grown wellbeing videos
  • Thursday: Virtual Youth Group from 4 to 5pm
  • Free Movie Friday: Family friendly movies from 6:30 to 8:30pm

Activities are being changed and added weekly. For further information:

Email: [email protected]

Call/text: 0439 879 900


Neighbouring Councils

City of Greater Geelong and City of Ballarat, are also offering a range of activities and experiences for young people. To find out more, visit:

Ballarat Youth Services


Geelong Youth


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