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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).

Essential services

We are continuing to run essential services, with some changes, including:

• 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

Public access to our Customer Service Centre in Castlemaine is closed however we are still continuing to support our community.

Our Customer Service Team is available to support you and we encourage you to contact us via telephone, email and our online service request system.

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 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

Visitor Information Centres in Castlemaine and Maldon are closed to the public.

Staff working behind the scenes to ensure visitors and local businesses are supported at this time.

Contact the Visitor Information Centres on 1800 171 888 between 9.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week.

Planning enquiries

With the Customer Service Centre currently closed to the public, 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 events and cancelled. Venues, community buildings and facilities at sports and recreation reserves are closed to the general public. Public amenities such as toilets remain open at this stage with strict cleaning procedures in place.

We have stopped taking bookings for the venues including:

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

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 planning to continue some workshops online where possible.

Parks, reserves and playgrounds

Parks and reserves remain open for essential activities such as exercise within public gathering rules. Council-managed public playgrounds, skate parks and BMX parks are closed. Public toilets remain open with strict cleaning measures in place.
It is important you practice good hygiene and follow social distancing rules at all times.

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 stage 3 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

We have a reduced capacity in our Work Unit and are dealing with as many requests as possible. Road hazards are a priority, followed by maintenance tasks. While there may be delays, 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.

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

To reduce community transmission, Council has temporarily put the following programs on hold until further notice:

• Home care (from 30 March)
• Home care cooking (from 30 March
• Foot care services (from 30 March)
• Respite care which provides relief for carers (from 19 March)
• Social support programs and group activities (from 19 March)

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 service changes.

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 on hold until further notice. The Mondo Lounge Holiday Program and the COscars Film Festival were cancelled.

We are exploring opportunities to screen the winning films and engage with young people online at this time. Stay-up-to date via visit 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

The Goldfields Library Corporation made the decision to close libraries across the region until 14 April. For more information on loans and digital resources visit www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au/covid19.

Community centres

Castlemaine Community House
All classes, programs and services at Castlemaine Community House are closed until further notice.
You can contact Castlemaine Community House on 5472 4842 or email.
For more information visit www.cch.org.au.

Maldon Neighbourhood House
Maldon Neighbourhood Centre has closed its doors to the public and is working on some essential services behind the scenes. Contact the centre on 5475 2093 for support. For more information visit www.maldonnc.org.au.

CHIRP Community Health Services

The CHIRP building is open from 9am to 12 midday on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Staff will offer telephone support from 9am - 5pm on weekdays (except for public holidays).

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.

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.

VCAT

No face-to-face hearings have been scheduled, and all non-critical cases which are listed up to and including 17 April 2020 will be adjourned for the foreseeable future.

Residential Tenancies and Guardianship matters (and a small number of other critical matters) will be heard by telephone. Read more.

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