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Public notice - 21 April 2020

Pile of newspapers wrapped in string.

Read the latest Council Column including public notices, job advertisements and tenders.

Coronavirus COVID-19 update

A State of Emergency has been declared until 11 May 2020 to manage coronavirus (COVID-19). Staff are continuing to deliver essential services and support our community, staff and volunteers within the directives from government and health authorities.
For updates on Council services visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

To help and connect our community at this time we have created a dedicated COVID-19 support number and email. For assistance, local information or a referral to a community organisation or service, call us on 1800 512 446 between 8.30am and 5.00pm or email us at covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au. We are also working with local organisations to develop an online virtual relief centre, and printed resource packs for residents without internet access.

Please stay at home and follow the advice to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Look out for each other and check in on your family, friends and neighbours. For more information call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

Changes to services

Customer and Visitor Services - The Customer Service Centre and Visitor Information Centres are closed to the public. We are still here to help. Contact us by phone, email or lodge a customer service request via our website. Call 5471 1700 or email info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

Works and maintenance requests - We have a reduced capacity in our Works Unit and are dealing with as many requests as possible. Road hazards are the priority, followed by maintenance tasks.

Waste services - Bin collection is running as usual. Please delay non-essential visits to waste facilities in Castlemaine and Maldon. Heavy items and mattresses are not accepted at this time. For more information visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/wastemanagement.

Playgrounds and community facilities - Parks and reserves remain open for essential activities such as exercise within public gathering rules. Public playgrounds, skate parks and BMX parks are closed.

Aged Care Services - Council is working hard to support the most vulnerable members of our community. We have made some alterations to services based on advice from health authorities, and are continuing to share service updates with clients, carers and families. Contact our Community Wellbeing Team on 5471 1766 with any queries.

Maternal and Child Health Services - Immunisations for children up to five years are continuing by appointment only. Speak to a nurse on 5472 1364 before visiting the centre.

Support local business

Council urges everyone to shop locally to keep every dollar in our shire. Find a list of businesses offering takeaway, delivery or online shopping options at www.maldoncastlemaine.com.au. Find out about support for businesses at www.business.gov.au or www.business.vic.gov.au.

Local food relief

Local volunteers, community groups and organisations have established a community pantry to provide food relief for local residents in need. The Mount Alexander Community Pantry is a centrally coordinated food relief system. It offers prepared meals and food packages in the absence of a local foodbank. To access meals or food packages, contact the Mount Alexander Community Pantry Intake Coordinator on 0472 537 866, email mtalexcommunitypantry@gmail.com or order online at www.cch.org.au/communitypantry. The pantry is accepting financial donations to help fund the initiative. Get in touch with the pantry to make a donation.

The pantry is a collective effort by Castlemaine Community House, Nalderun, Church of Christ, CHIRP Community Health, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, The Salvation Army, St Mary’s Parish, St Vincent de Paul, Maldon Community Centre, Bendigo & District Aboriginal Co-operative, Bendigo Foodshare, Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership, Lions Club, Mount Alexander Disability Advocacy Group (MASDAG), Rotary Second Bite, SuperCold Coolrooms and Council.

Council's initial relief measures

Council has announced some initial relief measures to help the community and local businesses manage the impacts of COVID-19 including:
• A one month extension on the due date for the fourth rates instalment, to 30 June.
• Establishment of a Council COVID-19 financial hardship policy.
• A temporary hold on following up unpaid animal registrations (due 10 April).
• Payment to suppliers in weekly payment schedules.
• A reduction of commercial rents in Council-owned buildings until 30 June 2020, for businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Visit our website for more information.

CHIRP update

CHIRP Community Health can offer support to help you get through these challenging times. Staff are available by phone on weekdays during business hours. The CHIRP building is open from 9.00am to 12noon every weekday except Wednesday. If you need support or advice on who to contact or what to do, or need to talk to someone who will listen, call CHIRP on 5479 1000. Find out more at www.chirp.org.au.

Looking after your health

It is understandable for people to have feelings of concern or fear at this time. Financial pressures may also contribute to stress. If you, or someone you know, are feeling anxious or worried support is available. For crisis support and suicide prevention services contact:
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 www.beyondblue.org.au
Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au
Qlife 1800 184 527 www.qlife.org.au.

Family violence and staying safe

Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of family violence during and after an emergency. It is important for everyone to know that family violence is never ok, no matter what the circumstances. If you, or someone you know are at risk or escaping family violence call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au. In an emergency call 000.

Cyber alerts and scams

COVID-19 related cyber threats are increasing. Be wary of suspicious or COVID-19 related emails, messages and phone calls claiming to be government agencies. Cyber criminals try to trick you into providing sensitive information. If you receive a phone call requesting information or payment simply hang up the phone and contact the relevant institution, if appropriate.

Norwood Hill Recreation Reserve

Have your say on the revitalisation of Norwood Hill Recreation Reserve, located on Maclise Street in Castlemaine. We want to hear how you use the reserve, your favourite features and ideas for improvement. Complete an online survey via www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay or call Kim Whitehouse, Project Officer, on 5471 1700. The survey will close on 15 May.

Help stop fruit fly

Don’t forget to check your monitoring traps for Queensland fruit fly (QFF), following the first confirmed report in Castlemaine. QFF are small brown flies with yellow markings. Look out for grubs or larvae in fruit or vegetables, remove unwanted fruit from trees and pick up fallen fruit off the ground. If you suspect you have QFF contact Council on 5471 1700. See photos to help identification at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/FruitFly.

Pet registrations

Council is giving pet owners until 30 June to pay for pet registrations. Residents must still ensure their pet is registered. Council has sent renewal forms to pet owners.

Employment opportunities

Audit and Risk Advisory Committee Member – fixed term – three years.
Closes on Monday 27 April.
For more information or to apply visit our website.

Council meetings and budget

Council cancelled its April meeting given the requirement under the Local Government Act for the meeting to be held in person. Items on the April meeting agenda, including the Proposed Budget 2020/2021, will be tabled at subsequent meetings. We expect the State Government will soon introduce legislation to allow council meetings to be conducted virtually. The next meeting is planned for 6.30pm on Tuesday 19 May. To raise a question at the meeting write to the Governance Team at Mount Alexander Shire Council, PO Box 185, Castlemaine 3450 VIC, or email info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au. Questions will be read out and answered at the meetings, which will be broadcast live to YouTube. Search Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The Council Column is published in The Midland Express each Tuesday.

Public notice - 21 April 2020.

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