COVID-19: Council Update
The health of our community, Council's employees and volunteers is Golden Plains Shire Council's top priority.
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Golden Plains Shire Council will be implementing a number of changes to its operations to reduce the risks to residents, staff and volunteers.
As the situation evolves, further changes will be posted on Council’s website and social media, with weekly updates on the Council News page in the Golden Plains Times. For any questions, please call Customer Service at 5220 7111.
For information on how communities can still come together in spirit and encourage kindness and support during this unprecedented crisis, visit BE KIND GOLDEN PLAINS
Changes to Council’s Services: Current as of Friday 3 April 2020
From close of business, Monday 16 March, Council’s Bannockburn, Linton and Smythesdale Customer Service Centres will close for face-to-face interactions for four weeks. Customers will still be able to contact the Customer Service team during this time by:
Residents who use Council's sharps containers collection and drop-off service and require sharps containers, please contact Council’s Customer Service team on 5220 7111 to discuss the new arrangements.
Essential services of Council that require physical contact including immunisation, Maternal and Child Health Services, Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels), childcare, Community Care, and food safety inspections will continue to operate on a priority basis and subject to staff availability.
Council’s Maternal and Child Health Service continues with modified service delivery from The Well in Smythesdale, Teesdale Kindergarten and Bannockburn Family Services Centre, adhering to health and hygiene recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services. 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. Unfortunately Drop-In and Group sessions will cease until further notice. For more information on changes to service delivery or book an appointment are 5220 7230 or email email@example.com. The 24-hour MCH Line is available on 13 22 29.
The Bannockburn Family Services Centre is temporarily closed to groups and non-essential services. Bannockburn Children’s Service continues to operate long day care however sessional kindergarten has completed Term One. Maternal and Child Health appointments are available at Bannockburn and Smythesdale with modified service delivery, adhering to health and hygiene recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services including separate entry points. Questions? Call 5220 7230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Council’s Active Aged and Disability Service is continuing to provide support to the community through delivered meals, essential community transport, personal care and limited domestic assistance. Continued essential services to high need, vulnerable clients includes providing support to 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.
Respite Services and Social Support Programs have been suspended. To minimise the impact of isolation, Council's team is keeping in regular contact with clients and where possible will call for social support which may include doing newspaper quiz together, chatting about a TV series the client and worker have in common or just taking the time to get to know the client better.
Council is also experiencing an increase in requests for delivered meals and immediate food relief; and have developed a partnership with Smythesdale IGA who retained stock for Council to purchase products for relief packs including toilet paper, sugar, pasta etc., and then home delivered two orders for community members in need. This partnership will continue as the need arises.
Council's Rokewood Transfer Station is now closed until at least Sunday 19 April, 2020. Residents are requested to please hold on to any hard-waste and e-waste items until the facility re-opens. Council’s kerbside waste collection services continue as usual.
In person consultation meetings for statutory planning applications will not be convened for a temporary period. Council will continue to meet its statutory obligations in assessing and making planning related decisions. Please note that Council’s practice of applications with objections being decided by Council at its formal Ordinary meetings will continue. For more information, call Council's Statutory Planning Team at 5220 7183.
Changes to Council’s Facilities: Current as of Thursday 2 April 2020
Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, all playgrounds, skate and bike parks, campgrounds and a number of other Council locations in Golden Plains are now closed until further notice. Golden Plains Shire joins several other councils in temporarily closing these locations of gathering and signs have been posted at 75 locations across the Shire informing residents and visitors of the closure. Locations of temporary closure in Golden Plains Shire includes all playgrounds, all skate parks, and all BMX and bike parks. On the recommendation of Tennis Victoria, all public tennis courts have also been temporarily closed. Campgrounds have also been temporarily closed at the directive of the Victorian Government.
The Meredith Community Hub, Bannockburn Cultural Centre and Northern Community Centre in Haddon are temporarily closed. The Well in Smythesdale is closed to community bookings with Council’s Customer Service and Woady Yaloak Historical Society offices also closed, however the Smythesdale Pharmacy and Ballarat Community Health GP Clinic remain open. Council’s Maternal and Child Health Service continues with modified service delivery from The Well in Smythesdale, Teesdale Kindergarten and Bannockburn Family Services Centre, adhering to health and hygiene recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services. To make an appointment please call 5220 7230 or email email@example.com
Changes to Council Events, Engagements and Programs: Current as of Thursday 2 April 2020
The Bannockburn Library and Golden Plains Mobile Library run by the Geelong Regional Library Corporation will close from Wednesday 18 March, 2020 until at least Tuesday 14 April 2020. For more information on the library closures, visit grlc.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Planning Panels Victoria has advised that the panel hearing for the Golden Plains Planning Scheme Amendment C87: Inverleigh Structure Plan has been postponed until further notice. The hearing will proceed in the form presented in the timetable at future dates and parties to the hearing will be given advance notice of these dates. Residents with questions can contact Council’s Strategic Planning Team Leader at 5220 7271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Golden Plains Farmers' Market scheduled on Saturday 4 April has been cancelled, in line with the social distancing recommendations of the Australian Government and to contribute to minimising the potential spread of COVID-19 in an environment where products are handled in close proximity.
All Business Victoria workshops and business mentoring sessions in April have been cancelled. For more information, please call Council’s Investment Attraction and Business Support team at 5220 7111 or email email@example.com.
In line with the new restrictions from the Australian and Victorian Governments, Council has been advised that the YMCA Bannockburn at 132 Milton Street, Bannockburn will be closed to the public from Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice. For more information, call 5281 2316.
Support for Business
The State Government has announced that as of March 30, Victorians are only allowed to leave their homes for one or more of the following four reasons:
- shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
- medical, care or compassionate needs
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely
Recognising that these restrictions are having a devastating impact on business and the economy, both Federal and State Governments have introduced a range of support and assistance packages for businesses.
For a listing of where businesses can go for information, resources and support in relation to COVID-19, visit goldenplains.vic.gov.au/business/covid-19-business-support.
In addition to creating this information resource, Council’s Investment Attraction and Business Support team have also been busy: checking-in on businesses to see how they have been impacted; sending business support e-newsletters; developing a business listing of those businesses still operating for Council’s website; providing regular updates to State and Federal Governments on the impact to Golden Plains businesses; and working on making Council’s small business training/mentoring programs remotely accessible.
Council is also working to develop a suite of supports for Golden Plains businesses which will be announced soon.
If you would like further information or to talk through your situation, please contact Council’s Investment Attraction & Business Support Team on 5220 7111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information and Advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
With a lot of attention in the media and online on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), residents may be unsure where to get the most up-to-date information from the health authorities.
The Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services has information and guidance on the current outbreak of coronavirus, which will be updated as the situation evolves. You can access this information and guidance at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
The Department has also prepared information on ways to reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus. One of the best things residents can do every day to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus is to practice excellent hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette. Residents can source information, including posters at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.
If you have concerns about your health, it's best to contact your GP, or if you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep 000 for emergencies only.
Residents who have recently returned from overseas can also find information and advice at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.