COVID-19 Information

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COUNCIL SERVICE DELIVERY DURING COVID-19 CONDITIONS

OVERVIEW OF COUNCIL SERVICE DELIVERY

As Whyalla Council Elected Members and Administration continue to address our very different lifestyle caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), this new website reference resource has been created to provide ongoing and up to date information to our residents. Council will continue to operate and provide services to the community within the guidelines announced by the Federal Government. The health and safety of our community, staff and volunteers is our main priority.

We will strive to keep this page up-to-date with any further changes to Council services and operations based on advice from the Federal Government. Please also keep an eye on our Facebook pages for updates.

Council is currently addressing a number of matters having impact on our residents, including the conducting of regular Council meetings, hardship relief, and adjusting to operational changes. As new information is available it will be uploaded onto this website and reported on Council’s Facebook page.

TRUSTED CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION SOURCES

Information has been spreading rapidly through the internet. It is important to know where you can find trusted sources of information online and not just rumours and myths.

We all need to practice social distancing to stop the spread of Coronavirus. It’s not about giving everything up, just swapping the way we do things for now. Visit: www.stopthespread.sa.gov.au

The following links provide excellent sources of current and regularly updated information covering an exceptionally wide range of matters:

  • General questions: Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 08

COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Click this link to read the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers.

PHONE SERVICES

COVID-19 MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT LINE

The COVID-19 mental health support line commenced on 31 March.  This is a public and free service for all South Australians.

PHONE CONTACT 1800 632 753 8AM – 8PM, 7 DAYS A WEEK

  • Staffed by Lifeline counsellors
  • Includes phone, video and call-back support.

For more information about mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the SA Health website.

TELECROSS REDI COVID-19

South Australians can opt to receive a free, daily phone call to check on their welfare in response to COVID-19. This service has been activated by the Government of South Australia. Specially trained Red Cross staff and volunteers will make the calls, supporting the wellbeing of clients, including asking how they are coping and if they need support to access medical or food supplies, as well as reiterating up-to-date government health advice. If the call goes unanswered or if someone is in distress, further steps will be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the client. The service is available to people in the community whose wellbeing is impacted as result of COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation measures. This may include older people, people living with a disability, those experiencing mental illness, people recovering from an illness or accident or people with an ongoing health condition who are voluntarily self-isolating for their wellbeing.

REGISTER BY PHONE 1800 188 071 OR AT REGISTER.REDCROSS.ORG.AU

SA COVID-19 Information Line1800 253 787 offers local information and advice on general COVID-19 information for South Australians. Operates from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm every day.

Communicable Disease Branch line1300 232 272 provides information on immunisations and from medical officers.

COVID-19 Relief Call Centre1300 705 336 provides information and assistance with such things personal hardship support, accommodation support for people unable to achieve self-quarantining and accommodation for emergency services personnel that are required to quarantine but unable to do so at home. People can also email housingrelief@sa.gov.au.

If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech or communication impairment, contact National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.

REGULAR COUNCIL SERVICES

Regular services and maintenance works will continue including community safety, environmental health, road construction and maintenance, tree pruning, storm water management, street sweeping and other infrastructure services. Staff are working as isolated from each other as possible. We are contingency-planning for a changing workforce due to unplanned absences so as to ensure that we continue to provide essential services to our community.

COUNCIL ADMINISTRATION OFFICE

The office in Darling Tce remains open, however we encourage customers to consider other methods of interacting where possible:

Email: council@whyalla.sa.gov.au

Phone: 8640 3444.

Payments: Alternative methods to over-the-counter are available via POST BillPay or Council’s online service. Further information at www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=883

No cash will be accepted over the counter at Civic Building with customers encouraged to use EFTPOS facilities through cashless forms of payment such as swipe-and-go, and contactless cards.

Staff are happy to assist with any enquiries by phone or email. Residents are encouraged to use these options wherever possible.

Visitors to the Civic Building are asked to be mindful of social distancing requirements and to follow any safety instructions.

services

CLOSURES

As a result of Federal Government directives, the following services are closed until further notice:

MARITIME MUSEUM AND STEELWORKS TOURS

  • Maritime Museum closure includes all areas – Museum building, HMAS Whyalla and gardens.
  • All scheduled and special interest group tours of the Steelworks have been suspended.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

The following are now closed and not available for use or hire until further notice:

  • Field Street Hall.
  • Former Girl Guide Hall at Jessop-White Park.
  • Training rooms at the Whyalla Business Centre (co-located with RDA-EP on Nicolson Ave.)
  • Whyalla Recreation Centre, operated by YMCA on behalf of Whyalla Council. (All memberships, included for swimming lessons, will automatically be placed on suspension during the period of the closure and members will not be charged.)

KERBSIDE WASTE COLLECTION

The household collection service will be maintained and continue to run as scheduled.

WASTE & RESOURCE RECOVERY CENTRE

The Mount Laura Waste & Resource Recovery Centre, Iron Knob Rd, continues to operate, but like the Council Office, will no longer accept cash over the counter. Instead, until further notice, customers are encouraged to use EFTPOS facilities through cashless forms of payment such as swipe-and-go cards.

Users of the Centre are also asked to be mindful of social distancing requirements and to follow any other safety instructions. Please avoid non-essential visits.

PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS

All open space parks and BBQ facilities are open, however, community members must follow strict social distancing measures to protect the health and safety of everyone.

Public space furniture and BBQs are cleaned as required, but are not sanitised in a way that ensures contact with surfaces will not result in virus transmission. Responsibility for health and hygiene remains with users at all times.

Similarly, while there has been an increased level of cleaning and sanitation of the city’s public toilets, responsibility for health and hygiene again remains with users.

AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES

As a result of the Federal Government’s recommendations on public gatherings, and in view of Council’s decision to limit face-to-face exposure to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, no citizenship ceremonies will be conducted until further notice.

Rescheduling of ceremonies will depend on advice of the Department of Health.

Enquiries for urgent ceremonies should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs.

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP RATES RELIEF

Many businesses have closed, continue to close, or have significantly reduced their trading hours. Some have had to change the way they do business due to the impact on the economy of the public health measures in place.

In addition, large numbers of people are becoming unemployed and experiencing financial hardship throughout the nation. Whyalla residents and ratepayers are not immune to these situations.

We understand concerns around reduced revenue, financial obligations, management of employees, legal obligations, maintaining workplace health, and planning around disruptions.

For more information please read the brochure here Hardship Brochure

Impacted rate payers should contact council for an application form or download here Application for Deferral of Rates (COVID-19)

Council customers, including businesses, who are currently experiencing financial hardship can contact us to discuss an acceptable payment arrangement.

To view Council's Financial Hardship Policy, click here.

Council is currently looking at a range of issues and addressing how it can help and support residents. As soon as more information is available it will be uploaded onto this page

LEGISLATION

Postponement of rates on the basis of hardship are provided under the Local Government Act 1999. Section 182 contains provision for remission or postponement of rates in whole or in part on the basis of hardship.

APPLICATION FOR POSTPONEMENT OF RATES DUE TO LOSS OF INCOME

If you have had a loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis and do not believe you can meet your upcoming rates payments, you can apply for a postponement of your rates. To be eligible to apply you must supply evidence of loss of income which has occurred since March 18, 2020.

Rates can be postponed to December 31, 2020 and no penalties will apply during this period. Payment for postponed rates can be made any time during this period, but full payment will be required at the end of December.

Any links to appropriate forms to be included.

https://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/our-city/news-and-events/latest-news/council-to-provide-covid-19-relief