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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).

Victoria's is currently in a State of Emergency to manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and is operating under COVIDSafe Setting. Read more about the how we live and work under COVIDSafe restrictions.

**UPDATE** Lockdown restrictions where eased in regional Victoria at 11.59pm on Thursday 18 November. You can read the Victorian Premier's official statement here.

Customer Service Centre

Our Customer Service Centre in Castlemaine has re-opened for face-to-face services.

You can also:

• 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 in Castlemaine and Maldon are open to the public.

Contact the Visitor Information Centres on 1800 171 888 between 9.00am to 5.00pm, 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 an online planning service request.

Venues and community facilities

Council's venues are closed to the general public. Public toilets remain open with strict cleaning procedures in place.

Please consider the following information for future bookings:

Indoor venues
To ensure we help keep our community safe, we have made some changes to hirer responsibilities.

Please read our updated venue hire terms and conditions, which include COVID-19 guidelines to ensure you can comply with all requirements before booking a space. Then complete our Venue Hire Online Form and we will be in touch to confirm availability via email.

Outdoor spaces
Council is committed to supporting local businesses and the mental and physical wellbeing of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are encouraging any groups requiring outdoor space in public parks and gardens to book one of our outdoor spaces to continue classes or activities or classes outside lock down periods. This will help us ensure our popular parks and gardens aren’t overwhelmed and everyone can continue to come together safely.

Bookings can be made via our Venue Hire Online Form. View our Outdoor space use terms and conditions. Contact our Venues and Events team on 03 5471 1700 if you have any questions.

Events

Throughout different stages of the pandemic, Council may need to cancel or postpone 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 continues to run youth programs, business workshops, Council Meetings and selected community forums and events online, where possible.

We will continue to review event opportunities when the restrictions ease again. If you are planning on running a public event, you will need to comply with the Public Events Framework. For more information visit our events planning page.

Parks, reserves and playgrounds

Public playgrounds, skate parks and BMX parks are open.

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.

You must carry a face covering with you and wear it when you can't safely stay 1.5 metres apart.

Waste services

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

While Castlemaine and Maldon Waste Facilities are still open, residents are urged to delay non-essential visits in accordance with the Victorian Government restrictions.

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.

A trip to dispose green waste due to gardening is not deemed essential in line with state and federal government guidelines.

Payment at the Castlemaine facility is by EFTPOS /card only. Paddy’s market is temporarily closed.

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

Please do not visit 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:

• Home Care
• Personal care
• Foot care
• Home safety/modifications
• Property maintenance
• Note shopping
• Home exercise programs
• Respite care
• In home cooking
• Assessments
• Access and support

Staff continue to deliver Meals on Wheels and support clients on the vulnerable persons register to determine additional needs for support throughout the pandemic.

Additional contact, adhering to strict hygiene and personal protection requirements, and following social distancing rules have been expanded in order to reintroduce face-to-face assessments and supports as required. Staff continue to wear the required personal protective equipment. Where possible we require clients to also wear masks during a visit or service.

To reduce community transmission, our social support programs and group activities are temporarily on hold until further notice.

Council continues to maintain contact with 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.

We continue to send newsletters to clients who have requested them and staff continue to keep clients informed of any changes or reinstatement of services.

Maternal and Child Health Services

Maternal and Child Health Service are providing the following services, and will continue to see:

- all children aged under 8 weeks;
- all immunisation appointments,

All other appointments will be moving to telephone consultations.
Any groups will be moved to online meetings.
Maternal and Child Health Nurses will contact you with regards to your appointments if this affects you.

Please also note that only one parent should attend the centre with their child, and where possible siblings should not attend.

Any questions or concerns, please contact MCH on 5472 1364.

Youth services

Our Mondo Lounge Youth Space program, to connect and engage young people aged 12 - 25, is closed. Stay-up-to date via our youth website www.mountalexandershireyouth.com.au and social media pages.

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

Castlemaine Library is open to the public.

For more information visit www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au/covid19 and stay connected on Facebook.

Community centres

Castlemaine Community House
Castlemaine Community House (CCH) is currently open. For more information call 5472 4842, visit www.cch.org.au or stay connected on Facebook.

Maldon Neighbourhood Centre
Maldon Neighbourhood Centre is currently open. For more information contact Maldon Neighbourhood House on 5475 2093, visit www.maldonnc.org.au or stay connected on Facebook.

CHIRP Community Health Services

CHIRP Community Health (registered as Castlemaine District Community Health) is a community based, not for profit organisation that has been working with the Mount Alexander Shire community since 1984.

For details about what services and programs are currently operating, visit www.chirp.org.au or call 5479 1000.

Pop-up-testing clinic
CHIRP is currently operating a drive-through COVID-19 screening clinic.

If you have symptoms or require a test please call 5479 1000 to make an appointment. Visit https://chirp.org.au/covid-screening-clinic/ for more information.

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