COVID-19 Information

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To respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily changed the way we are delivering services to the community to support the Federal and State Government measures to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.

We are here to deliver essential services, such as water, sewer, road maintenance and rubbish services.

We are also open for business via phone, email and online. See the 'How to continue to do business with us' tab below for more information.

A number of our services are closed to face-to-face contact – please see the section below.

During this challenging time our priority remains the safety and well-being of our community, staff and volunteers.

We are following the advice of the Australian Government, World Health Organisation (WHO) and NSW Health in the implementation of measures to help minimise any possible infections.

We are committed to ensuring the vital services we all rely on continue, and look forward to being able to return our face- to-face services to the community as soon as it is responsible to do so. 


What's open?

Our customer service call centres remain open (with doors closed to the public), and staff will be responding to telephone, and online enquiries.

Our website has a number of online services that can assist you. Check out the 'How to continue to do businesses with us' tab below for more detailed information.

The following facilities remain open for business:

  • Gloucester’s Service NSW and Services Australia (Centrelink) agencies
  • Waste Management Centres

Public amenities, parks and beaches:

Council’s public amenities will remain open while they can be appropriately cleaned and hygiene facilities can be provided.

Council is aiming to provide toilet paper and soap where possible, however these facilities are also subject to supply shortages and increased theft and vandalism.

Facilities may be closed on short notice if these requirements are unable to be fulfilled.

In parks and on beaches, Federal Government anti-gathering requirements and social distancing protocols will apply.

Other facilities 

  • All boat ramps are open.
  • Our pound facilities will remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic for animal care purposes only. Public access is not allowed apart from use of the out of hours pens at the Taree pound facility. To arrange collection of an impounded animal please call us on 7955 7777.

     



How to continue to do business with us

There are plenty of ways you can continue to do business with us, without having to leave home. Our customer service team is still operating, and will be responding to phone, email and website enquiries. Our website can also help you in a variety of ways.

Contact us by phone or email - Go to the contact us page

Pay your rates - Set up a direct debit, pay online or over the phone

Change your rates notice address - Use the simple online form

Fill in a form online, or print it out and post it to us - Go to the forms library

Request a service or report a problem - Use our simple online form

Track a Development Application online - Use online application tracking

Get involved on a range of current topic and public exhibitions - Have your say online

Find out about roadworks in your area - Council Roadworks



What's closed?

Council Customer Service Centres for face-to-face services, however the community can still access council over the phone or online.

All libraries – online services will continue to be available. 

  • All Council owned swimming pools in the region, including the YMCA facilities in Taree, Forster and Wingham.
  • All ocean baths and tidal pools.
  • All playgrounds.
  • All visitor information centres – phone and online support will be available for local tourism operators
  • The Manning Entertainment Centre
  • The Manning Regional Art Gallery
  • Halls and facilities are not available for any bookings.
  • All Council owned and operated camping facilities are closed. This applies to free camping sites, camping facilities at some of our showgrounds, and to Farquhar Park.
  • The Taree airport terminal is closed to the public, and Fly Pelican commercial flights to and from Taree have been cancelled.


Supporting local business

The situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is a particularly tough time for our local businesses.

Our economic development and tourism teams are working closely with local businesses to provide support where possible.

For information on economic stimulus packages available for businesses and links to the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 please go to our Barrington Coast Business Hub and check back regularly for updates.

Be kind to businesses

We can all do our bit to support our local businesses, with many doing new things or altering their way of working to ensure they can continue to deliver services to our community.

For a list of some of the cafes, restaurants and food outlets that are still operating go to the Be kind to Barrington Coast businesses resource.

Resources to assist businesses and organisations

 You can help to 'stop the spread' of COVID19 by communicating clearly to your customers the need to practice the three steps.

The WHO fact sheet: Getting workplace ready for COVID19(PDF, 663KB) may assist you to take some simple measures in your workplace, sporting club or community group.

The NSW Health poster: hand washing(PDF, 102KB) is ideal for sticking up in public toilets or kitchens near the hand wash areas.

Our Fact Sheet: COVID19(PDF, 115KB) provides the three steps to help stop the spread, plus links to the official sites for the correct up-to-date information on COVID19 as the situation changes.

There are many more fact sheets, flyers and resources available on the three website links above - they may be relevant for specific needs and organisations.

The Department of Health has COVID-19 Factsheets

Answers to COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions;

Factsheets specifically for travel, transport and hotel industries;

Resources specifically for employers so as to understand obligations to employees as sick and carers leave and remote work situations evolve.

Economic Stimulus

Both the Federal and NSW State Governments have announced economic stimulus in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

You can access more information at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses at business.gov.au



MidCoast Assist (Ageing and Disability Services)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MidCoast Assist has taken a number of measures to ensure that our services continue to be delivered as safely as possible for our clients and staff. The procedures we have taken are in line with advice and direction from the NSW and Commonwealth Departments of Health. We are constantly reviewing our processes and making decisions based on ongoing advice.

As a result, all of our group activities have been suspended until we feel we can deliver these safely and instead we are offering other ways for our clients to stay socially connected.  We have also made modifications to the other services we provide.

 Find out more about MidCoast Assist's response to COVID-19 here



Council meetings

What’s new or changing?

  • Amendments have been made to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) allowing councils to meet remotely to assist them to manage the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus at their meetings and to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order. The amendments take effect immediately.
  • The amendments will operate for a period of six months, but may be extended to 12 months by regulation if required.

What this will mean for your council

Council and committee meetings can be held remotely, and individual councillors can participate in meetings remotely.

  • An amendment has been made to the Act providing that any requirement that councillors attend a meeting is satisfied if the meeting is held remotely using audio-visual links.
  • This means that councillors can now participate in meetings by an audio-visual link instead of attending in person.
  • Council meetings can be held entirely remotely by audio-visual link. Alternatively, where councils continue to meet in person, individual councillors are permitted to participate in the meeting by audio-visual link.
  • Where councillors participate in meetings remotely by an audio-visual link, they continue to be obliged to disclose and appropriately manage conflicts of interest they may have in matters being considered at meetings. Councillors continue to be obliged to remove themselves from the consideration of matters in which they have a pecuniary or significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest.

Attendance of members of the public at meetings

  • The requirement under section 10 of the Act for members of the public to be permitted to attend meetings can now be satisfied by livestreaming the meeting using an audio-visual link. Where meetings are livestreamed in this manner, members of the public can be excluded from the chamber.
  • Councils continue to be permitted to close their meetings to the public on the grounds specified under section 10A of the Act. Where councils livestream their meetings, they should ensure that the webcast is stopped while the meeting is closed to the public and resume it when the meeting is reopened to the public.
  • Where councils continue to permit members of the public to physically attend meetings, the numbers of members of the public present in the chamber can and should be limited to comply with the Public Health Order and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee’s recommendations on indoor gatherings 


Local Government elections

The Minister for Local Government has postponed the 2020 local government elections for 12 months. The decision was made as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, known to proliferate in assemblies. The next Local Government elections will take place in September 2021. 

MidCoast Council’s Mayor David West was appointed in 2019 and as such will continue in the role until September 2021 when Councillors elect a Mayor. 

More info on the NSW Office of Local Government website



Where do I get accurate information on COVID-19?

Right now, there's plenty of inaccurate information around about coronavirus.

It's important to stay calm, and receive the correct information at the official websites, which are being updated daily:

Australian Government health alerts

NSW Health

World Health Organisation

If you require any assistance, please call the Healthdirect Helpline 1800 022 222.



How can I protect my health?

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What if I feel unwell?

If you develop a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, and you have travelled to an affected area in the last 14 days or you have had contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19:

  • stay at home - don't risk infecting others.
  • you should follow the advice on the NSW Health website, which includes calling your doctor, visiting the Emergency Department or calling Healthdirect 1800 022 222.