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Update on Council services

Sunset in Castlemaine

This page provides a summary of changes to Council services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).


Regional Victoria is currently in the Third Step towards COVID-19. While restrictions are starting to ease  some Council facilities are temporarily closed in accordance with the current directions. We apologise for the inconvenience.


 

Essential services

Council services have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are currently reviewing our services in line with the recently announced restrictions. During this time we aim to continue to run essential services, with some changes to how we deliver them. These include:

• Meals on Wheels and In-Home Help Services to support the most vulnerable members of our community
• House-hold bin collections for waste and recycling
• Planning applications and building services
• Maternal and child health services and immunisations
• Local laws and public safety
• Environmental health
• Emergency management including coordination of relief and recovery

Customer Service Centre

Please note public access to our Customer Service Centre in Castlemaine has reopened for limited to-face services including general queries, pet registrations and payments. Precautions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include:

• Limits on the number of people in the area
• Floor markers to help maintain safe physical distancing
• Hand sanitiser available at entry points
• Customer registration slips to facilitate contract tracing if needed
• Signage to manage the flow of people in and out of the building, and
• Perspex screens to protect customers and visitors.

Staff are continuing to respond to other customer service requests and technical queries such as planning and building inquiries by phone, email and online. Council can be contacted in several ways:

Lodge a service request via our website
• Email us at info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au for a general query
• Email us at covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au for a specific query about what council is doing to respond to coronavirus.
• Call us on 5471 1700 between 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Customers can continue to make payments online, by phone, or via BPAY at www.bpay.com.au.

For more information visit our payment options page. Please get in touch if you are unable to make a payment or are experiencing financial hardship.

Visitor Information Centres

Our Visitor Information Centres (VIC) in Castlemaine is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Maldon Visitor Information Centre is currently closed to the public. However staff are continuing to work behind the scenes to ensure visitors and local businesses are supported at this time.

Staff are also available to offer assistance by phone 1800 171 888, seven days a week.

Planning enquiries

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have made some changes to how we respond to town planning enquiries.

Planning applications

If you have an enquiry that relates to a specific planning application under consideration, please refer to your correspondence from Council and contact the name council officer on the number provided.

General queries

If you have a general planning query that does not relate to a specific application already under consideration, please lodge a planning online service request.

Venues and community facilities

Council venues, community buildings and indoor sports facilities at sports and recreation reserves are closed to the general public. We will be working with management committees and user groups to support a safe reopening.

Public amenities such as toilets remain open at this stage with strict cleaning procedures in place.

The following venues are closed but contact us if you would like to discuss a future booking:

• Phee Broadway Theatre
• Castlemaine Town Hall
• Castlemaine Botanical Gardens Tea Rooms
• Ray Bradfield Room
• Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre
• Chewton Senior Citizens Centre

The use of our venues are subject to reopening dates and use within public health guidelines.

Events

Council has cancelled or postponed face-to-face events in response to restrictions on non-essential public gatherings and activities. This includes volunteer workshops, information sessions, exhibitions, festivals, youth markets, and open days. Council is continuing to run youth programs, business workshops, Council Meetings and selected community forums and events online. We will review opportunities to resume events as the restrictions ease.

Parks, reserves and playgrounds

Council-managed sports pavilions are currently closed.

Public playgrounds, skate parks and BMX parks have reopened under the Step 3.

Parks and reserves are open for outdoor recreation and exercise within public gathering rules.

Public toilets are open with strict cleaning measures in place.

It is important you practice good hygiene and follow social distancing rules at all times. Face coverings are now mandatory across Victoria. However, if you are doing exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running, you do not need to wear a face covering.

You must carry a face covering with you when you exercise unless you have a lawful excuse for not wearing a face covering such as a medical condition or are under the age of 12.

Waste services

Kerbside bin collection for waste and recycling is operating as usual.

While Castlemaine and Maldon Waste Facilities are open, residents are encouraged to delay non-essential visits.

If you do not have a general waste collection service to your home, a visit to dispose of general waste is deemed essential to environment health.

Payment at the Castlemaine facility is by EFTPOS /card only.

Due to physical distancing measures heavy items that you cannot lift into the bins yourself, and mattresses, are still not accepted at this time.

Stay at home if you are unwell.

Works and maintenance requests

Our Works Unit is continuing to deal with as many requests as possible, while working under COVIDSafe conditions. Road hazards remain a priority, followed by maintenance tasks. Please be assured the team is working to attend to service requests as quickly as possible.

Aged Care Services

Council has made some changes to the delivery of Aged Care Services and is continuing to support the most vulnerable members in the community. The service alterations are in response to State and Federal Government requirements and advice from health authorities on hygiene, service restrictions and social distancing.

Public health and safety is our priority, and any decisions have been made with strong regard to the vulnerability and high risk of infection for clients, and to protect carers, volunteers and staff.

Council is currently delivering the following in-home services:

• Shopping for clients using notes and supporting client with online shopping and grocery delivery services
• Essential personal care services to assist with daily living
• Essential home safety services; and
• Support for clients to complete their home exercise program by telephone.

The remaining domestic home care and foot care services resumed in June, and assessment services are continuing by phone.

Staff have continued to deliver Meals on Wheels and support clients on the vulnerable persons register to determine additional needs for support throughout the pandemic. We are minimising face-to-face contact, adhering to strict hygiene and personal protection requirements, and following social distancing rules.

To reduce community transmission, the following programs are temporarily on hold until further notice:

• Respite care which provides relief for carers
• Social support programs and group activities (some programs are starting up with changes)

Council continues to phone clients, and/or their families and carers, to advise them of changes to their services, check how they are doing and help them prepare for the transition, with referral to alternative providers where possible.

Letters have been sent to affected clients and staff will continue to keep them informed of changes or reinstatement to services.

Maternal and Child Health Services

Essential maternal and child health services, including National Immunisation Program immunisations for children up to six years are continuing by appointment only. Contact the centre on 5472 1364 to speak to a nurse on before visiting, and stay at home if you or your child are feeling unwell.

Drop in and group sessions such as New Parents Groups are on hold. The use of the centre as a feed and change facility is not permitted at this time. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Youth services

Our Mondo Lounge Youth Space on Friday afternoons is currently running a series of online activities to connect and engage young people aged 12 - 25 at this time. Stay-up-to date via our youth website and socials.

Updates on other services

We have been advised of the following changes in services that are provided to our community by other organisations or groups.

Castlemaine Library

Goldfields Libraries, including Castlemaine Library, are closed to the public. However the libraries are offering a reserve and collection service from the front of the building, and a contactless home delivery service where possible.

For more information on loans, online programs and events, and digital resources visit www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au/covid19 and stay connected on Facebook.

Community centres

Castlemaine Community House
A limited number of programs and services at Castlemaine Community House (CCH) have resumed. Centrelink agency services, financial counselling, tax help and no interest loans are available by appointment only. Call 5472 4842 to book. For more information about CCH services during COVID-19 call 5472 4842, send them an email or visit visit www.cch.org.au.

Maldon Neighbourhood House
Maldon Neighbourhood Centre is closed from 3pm Tuesday 4 August for the safety of the community. Contact Maldon Neighbourhood House on 5475 2093 for more information and support, or visit www.maldonnc.org.au.

CHIRP Community Health Services

CHIRP Community Health has reopened its doors during business hours from Monday to Friday, except between 12.30pm and 1.30pm each day. The doors close at 4.30pm on Friday.

Staff continue to deliver telephone support and most services by telehealth. Critical clinical services are provided face-to-face.

If you need support, information, advice on who to contact or what to do, or need to talk to someone, call CHIRP on 5479 1000.

Staff can provide information about local services and resources, offer emotional support and practical advice on coping, or provide referral you to an appropriate service. For more information visit www.chirp.org.au.

CHIRP also offers a Justice of the Peace service from 1.00pm to 3.00pm on Tuesdays by appointment only. Call reception to make an appointment.

Centre for Non-Violence

The Centre for Non-Violence (CNV) has changed the way it provides family violence services, based on advice provided by the Department of Health & Human Services, the Victorian and Federal Governments and health experts.

CNV is committed to protecting the health and safety of our staff, clients and the wider community, and reducing the risk of COVID-19. Services are still available in a reduced capacity.

Face-to-face appointments and walk-in queries are not available. Services are running by phone where possible, or via the On-Site Service Delivery team.

If you are experiencing family violence and require assistance, please call CNV on free call 1800 884 292 throughout the Loddon area. For more information visit www.cnv.org.au.

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