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Community Assistance Directory

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COVID-19 GOVERNMENT UPDATES

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

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

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

Call: 1300 650 172

WEBSITE

Victorian Coronavirus Hotline

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

Call: 1800 675 398

WEBSITE

Government Response to COVID-19 Outbreak

Current response plan on COVID-19.

Call: (02) 6289 1555

WEBSITE

 

EMERGENCY AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES

EMERGENCY RELIEF SERVICES

For information on accessing emergency relief services, please visit:

Victorian State Government

Including Emergency Relief Packages for Victorians.

Call: (03) 9651 5000

WEBSITE

CENTACARE

Centacare’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: 1300 303 988

WEBSITE

FOOD RELIEF SERVICES

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

Golden Plains Shire Council

Delivered Meals: The service provides nutritionally prepared frozen meals to frail older people, people with chronic health conditions and people living with disability. The subsidised meals are delivered on a fortnightly basis across the Shire to those who would be otherwise nutritionally at risk. Special diets such as diabetic, vegetarian, low fat, low cholesterol and high fibre are available on request, with individual needs discussed prior to accessing the service.

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 delivered meals and 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

WEBSITE

Red Cross

Emergency supplies to Victorians most in need.

Call: (02) 8265 3074

WEBSITE

Food Bank

Supplies food and groceries to charities working in the community.

Call: (03) 9362 8300

WEBSITE

The Salvation Army, Northside Geelong Community Centre

Emergency relief in the form of food parcels and vouchers.

Call: (03) 5275 7771

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

SUPERMARKETS

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

WEBSITE

‘Woolworths Basic Boxes’

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

Call: 1800 000 610

WEBSITE

Smythesdale IGA

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

Call: (03) 5342 8778

WEBSITE

General Stores

There are a number of general stores still operating throughout Golden Plains Shire. Visit Council's Be Kind to Business page to see a listing.

BE KIND TO BUSINESS

TRANSPORT

Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Connections Community Transport: Service provided by volunteer drivers and/or staff to provide assistance and transport Shire residents to access medical appointments.

Call: 5220 7111

WEBSITE

 

AGED AND DISABILITY SERVICES

AGED SERVICES

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

WEBSITE

Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 advice for people in aged care facilities.

Call: 1800 020 103

WEBSITE

Department of Health: Home Care Providers

COVID-19 guide for home care providers.

Call: 1800 020 103

WEBSITE

Department of Health: Residential Workers

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

Call: 1800 020 103

WEBSITE

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

COVID-19 information and resources.

Call: 1800 951 822

WEBSITE

Golden Plains Shire Council

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Active Aging and Disability Services team is continuing support to the community through the provision of essential services including personal care, unaccompanied shopping, domestic assistance, delivered meals, property maintenance and community transport. 

Also, supporting high need, vulnerable clients to attend medical appointments and shopping for essential food items for clients with no ‘natural supports’ (no family, friend or other to assist them and they can’t access themselves). Domestic Assistance continues for clients who have on-going respiratory/ chronic health conditions and have no natural supports.

For more information, contact Council’s Active Ageing and Disability Services team on 5220 7151 or email agedserviceprovision@gplains.vic.gov.au

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

WEBSITE

NDIS

COVID-19 information and support.

Call: 1800 800 110

WEBSITE

National Quality and Safeguards Commission - NDIS Commission

COVID-19 information

Call: 1800 035 544

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

 

HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES

MEDICAL CLINICS

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

Smythesdale - The Well: Ballarat Community Health

Providing flu vaccinations when stock available.

Address: 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale, 3351

Call: (03) 5338 4585

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

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

FACEBOOK

Bannockburn Pharmacy

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am to 1pm

Address: 6 High Street, Bannockburn, 3331

Call: (03) 5281 1519

FACEBOOK

Smythesdale Pharmacy

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am to 1pm

Address: 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale, 3351

Call: (03) 5342 8695

FACEBOOK

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

FACEBOOK

Healthline Pharmacy Meredith

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

Address: 44 Staughton Street, Meredith, 3333

Call: (03) 5286 1428

FACEBOOK

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

WEBSITE

Barwon Health

Services provided: Speech pathology, dietetics, podiatry

Service delivery location: Bannockburn Family Services Centre

Call: 1300 715 673

WEBSITE

IntegratedLiving

Services provided: Podiatry

Service delivery location: The Well, Smythesdale

Call: (03) 5334 1500

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

Waurn Ponds Hearing Clinic

Services provided: Audiology

Service delivery location: Bannockburn Family Services Centre

Call: (03) 5245 7940

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

Lifeline

Support, tips and coping strategies.

Call: 13 11 14

WEBSITE

Red Cross

Support for mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call: 1800 733 276

WEBSITE

Department of Health

COVID-19 Mental Health Plan.

Call: 1800 020 080

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

Red Cross

Tips to help families stay happy and hopeful during self-isolation.

Call: 1800 733 276

WEBSITE

Services Australia

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

Call: 13 62 40

WEBSITE

FAMILY VIOLENCE

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

WEBSITE

Safe Steps

24/7 family violence specialist support service.

Call: 1800 015 188

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

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

WEBSITE

Support for Immigrant Women

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

Call: 1800 755 988

WEBSITE

MENS REFERRAL SERVICES

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

WEBSITE

Men’s Referral Service

Access to support services for men.

Call: 1300 766 491

WEBSITE

LOCAL SUPPORT GROUPS

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

FACEBOOK

Linton Community Assistance

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

FACEBOOK

 

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 

WEBSITE

Centrelink

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

Call: 13 62 40

WEBSITE

Money Smart

COVID-19 Financial Assistance.

Call: 1300 208 215

WEBSITE

Australian Taxation Office

Support for individuals and employees.

Call: 13 28 61

WEBSITE

Financial hardship

National Debt Hotline

Free financial counselling

Call: 1800 007 007

WEBSITE

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.

HELP PAYING FOR GAS, ELECTRICTY or Water

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

WEBSITE

PHONE & INTERNET DISCOUNTS

Telstra

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

WEBSITE

Optus

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

WEBSITE

NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme)

Centacare

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

WEBSITE

Business Support

Australian Government

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

Call: 13 28 46

WEBSITE

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.
  • Free promotion of local businesses on Council’s website and social media with Be Kind to Business campaign: goldenplains.vic.gov.au/business/be-kind-business 
  • Dedicated COVID-19 business support page on Council's website with links to Federal and State Government programs: goldenplains.vic.gov.au/business/covid-19-business-support 
  • 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.

COUNCIL BUSINESS SUPPORT HUB

 

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

WEBSITE

Royal Children’s Hospital

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

Call: (03) 9345 5522

WEBSITE

Raising Children

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

Call: 1800 020 080

WEBSITE

Unicef

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

WEBSITE

World Health Organization

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

WEBSITE

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 earlyyears@gplains.vic.gov.au

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.

Headspace

Mental health support for young people under 25 years old.

Call: 1800 650 890

WEBSITE

Red Cross

Talking to children and young people about COVID-19 and tips on easing children’s anxiety.

Call: 1800 733 276

WEBSITE

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: youth@gplains.vic.gov.au

Call/text: 0439 879 900

FACEBOOK

Neighboring 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

FACEBOOK

Geelong Youth

FACEBOOK

Activities for children and young people

Backyard Brain Breaks

Golden Plains Shire Council, in partnership with the YMCA, have released a series of ‘Backyard Brain Breaks’. These short videos provide families with a daily physical activity ‘Brain Break’ that children and parents can participate in with little or no equipment needed.

Call: (03) 5221 8344

WEBSITE

More Information

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Page Last Updated:

Thursday, 23 April 2020 - 4:33pm

 

Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.