In case you missed it... #WeirTogether sharing COVID-19 news
as it relates to Shire of Mundaring
Shire facilities to gradually reopen - 12 May 2020
Planning is underway to gradually open some Shire facilities in line with Phase 2 of the State Government's COVID-19 WA Roadmap.
Shire President Cr John Daw said while residents and ratepayers were keen to hear which services and facilities would reopen - and when - the Shire would take a steady and informed approach.
"The safety and wellbeing of community members and staff continues to be our primary focus," he said.
"We are awaiting further detailed advice from the State Government and the release of its COVID Safety Plan and Guidelines. Then we can further refine workable plans to reopen some of the facilities identified in Phase 2 in a safe and staged manner. These include libraries, the front counter at our administration, ovals and community facilities."
State guidelines are due to be released this week and Cr Daw said Shire staff have begun securing additional cleaners, safety and cleaning products and other safety equipment. He cautioned that residents and ratepayers would need to adjust to a 'new normal' when services resumed.
"I cannot advise today the exact date our libraries will reopen," he said.
"When they do open we expect they will operate in a different way to before, with some services such as Baby Rhyme Time likely to continue as a digital service for the time being."
Definitive reopening dates for eligible facilities would be announced in due course, he added.
Cr Daw also encouraged those who could to support local businesses, particularly the cafes and restaurants who decide to welcome sit down patrons from Monday 18 May.
"We are all in this together and can play a part, no matter how small, in rebuilding the local economy," he said.
"If you are venturing out, please continue to maintain a safe distance from others and practise healthy hygiene."
Under the changes revealed by Premier Mark McGowan on Sunday, from Monday 18 May:
- Indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings will be lifted from 10 to 20 people;
- People are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable;
- Cafes and restaurants can reopen with meal service (including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casino), limited to 20 patrons and the 4 square metre per person capacity rule applied;
- Weddings and funerals, limited to up to 20 attendees indoors or 30 outdoors;
- Places of worship, community facilities and libraries can reopen, limited to 20 patrons;
- Community sports (non-contact) will be limited to 20 people;
- Outdoor or indoor fitness classes (minimal shared equipment) will be limited to 20 patrons;
- Public swimming pools can open under strict rules (one indoor pool and one outdoor pool), limited to 20 patrons per pool. Shire pools are now closed for the season.
- Regional travel restrictions will also change, bringing the number of current borders within WA from 13 to only four (not including the Commonwealth Biosecurity zone and remote communities).
Cr Daw said public playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, skate parks, galleries, museums and concert venues would remain closed for several more weeks as they fall under Phase 3 of the WA Roadmap.
Register now for free business advice workshops - 7 May 2020
Shire of Mundaring is providing a series of informative workshops to address the most pressing issues business and industry owners' face in our area.
Access to government support, cash flow management and marketing strategies are some of the hot topics to be featured in the free online workshops from next week.
Presented by the Small Business Development Corporation, one workshop will be scheduled every Thursday for three weeks beginning on 14 May.
Mundaring Shire President Cr John Daw said the online workshops were the first initiative of a new Local Business and Industry Support Program, launched by the Shire's COVID-19 Economic Relief and Recovery sub-committee.
"Shire of Mundaring is committed to helping local business and industry recover from the wide ranging adverse impacts of this pandemic," he said. "Local business and industry have identified the key areas they need help with right now and Council is thrilled to work with the Small Business Development Corporation to offer these free online workshops.
"We invite any local business and industry owners who are registered within the shire - or lease a building in the shire - to register for one, or more, of the following workshops."
Participants will require access to an internet connected device with audio to join each workshop
Due to the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions, the campground at Lake Leschenaultia will be open for camping from Monday 11 May through until 31 May only. Should the current lifting of restrictions be extended, the Shire will look to open the campground for more bookings in June.
Should the current lifting of restrictions be withdrawn at any time, full refunds will be available.
Use of the campground will follow current COVID-19 requirements for gatherings and social distancing, including limits to the number of campers at each site and the number of people using the camp kitchen or toilets at any one time.
Bookings are now being taken for camping between 11 to 31 May via the Mundaring Visitor Centre on 9290 6645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have your say in our business and industry survey - 1 May 2020
Shire of Mundaring is calling on business and industry representatives to provide feedback on the economic impacts of COVID-19 in our community.
The Shire has launched a survey which aims to identify business priorities, explain the effects of COVID-19 on their business and invites participants to suggest ways Council may provide relief.
Strategic Project Advisor Mike Pengelly said the Shire was committed to assisting local businesses and industry through these challenging times.
"A key component of this support is engaging with local business and industry and identifying the most significant issues that are affecting them now, and may impact them in the near future when restrictions are gradually eased," he said.
"In order to gain a better understanding of the key issues, the Shire has created a short online survey which only takes several minutes to complete."
Mr Pengelly said participation in the survey would help inform future decision making.
Shire of Mundaring has established a Local Relief and Recovery Coordinating Committee (LRRCC) to assist people, groups and businesses during the declared COVID 19 State of Emergency period and when the emergency eases, it will lead the Shire's efforts in rebuilding the social and financial strength of our community.
An economic sub-committee, which includes local business and industry representatives and members of the Mundaring and Swan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is meeting regularly to assist and inform the LRRCC.
The Covid-19 Business Survey is open until Wednesday 13 May and can be accessed via https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WTC2D3V. It will complement a COVID-19 Community Impact Survey organised by the Shire in late April.
For further information, contact Mike Pengelly, Strategic Project Advisor on email@example.com.
Shire ovals and Lake Leschenaultia reopen for recreational purposes - 28 April 2020
In line with the State Government's move to cautiously ease some COVID-19 restrictions, Shire of Mundaring has relaxed a handful of restrictions at its ovals and Lake Leschenaultia.
Shire President Cr John Daw said the relaxation followed a health directive announced on Sunday to increase the limit for non-work outdoor and indoor gatherings from two people to 10 people.
"Shire of Mundaring has reopened ovals for non-contact sporting activity involving 10 people or less," he announced today.
"This includes non-contact training for sports that would ordinarily involve contact such as basketball, football, soccer and netball. Importantly, playing the contact sport itself remains a prohibited sporting activity."
Meanwhile, people can now access Lake Leschenaultia Park for exercise and recreation, provided they do not gather in groups of 10 or more.
"This is wonderful news for those who would like to swim, cycle, walk or enjoy a private picnic at Lake Leschenaultia," Cr Daw said.
"However, as per use of Shire ovals, in undertaking non-contact recreational activities at the lake, members of the public must still comply with social distancing restrictions and stay 1.5m apart."
One block of public toilets has been reopened at Lake Leschenaultia but the Cafe, canoe hire, camping, barbecues and playground remain closed.
Cr Daw said while moves to relax some COVID-19 restrictions were cause for optimism, Western Australians would need to continue practising safe social distancing, hand washing hygiene and stay at home when sick to help stop community spread of the virus.
The State Government has published a detailed FAQ list about the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions. It can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3eWOb9G
In addition, the Shire website now has a dedicated COVID-19 section, including a list of services and facilities affected by restrictions. The website will be updated as further changes are announced.
Council adopts COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy - 15 April 2020
A new financial hardship policy endorsed by Mundaring Shire Council this week will offer fair, dignified and consistent support to ratepayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy reinforces Council's April 2 commitment to adopt a range of relief and recovery strategies to support community members and groups, local businesses and industry through the unprecedented challenges of COVID19.
It explains the Shire's position on, and defines:
- Payment difficulties, hardship and vulnerability;
- Anticipated financial hardship due to the pandemic;
- A criteria for financial hardship;
- Payment arrangements;
- Suspension or deferment of interest charges;
- Deferment of rates for ratepayers holding a Pensioner Card; State Concession Card or Seniors Card; and
- Suspension of debt recovery.
Shire President Cr John Daw said Council recognised the immense social and financial challenges some community members faced and Council was adjusting the financial levers over which it has control, including rates, fees and charges.
"This Policy takes our pledge to support our community however, and wherever we can, one step further and is effective immediately," he said.
"Most importantly, it aims to ensure that we offer fair, equitable, consistent and dignified support to ratepayers suffering hardship, while treating all members of the community with respect and understanding at this difficult time."
Cr Daw encouraged anyone experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to contact the Shire on 9290 6666 to discuss their situation. The policy can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/3a3Wz3q
A message from the Shire President - 7 April 2020
Watch the video here.
Community Connect program supports vulnerable community members - 6 April 2020
Shire of Mundaring has launched an initiative to encourage community members to connect with, and support, their neighbours.
Manager Libraries and Community Engagement, Shannon Foster said the Community Connect program aimed to assist vulnerable members of our community and those who have chosen to self-isolate during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We encourage community members to reach out and offer to support neighbours who may need help collecting groceries or urgent supplies, posting mail, walking a dog or simply checking in with a phone call," she said.
"Key to this program is remaining socially connected whilst maintaining physical distance which is why we have designed a flyer to help community members connect with one another.
"We remind our community to focus on their health and safety when participating in this initiative to ensure that the only thing spread is our much-loved Hills community spirit."
If you'd like to get involved in our Community Connect program:
- Remember to maintain safe social distancing and wash your hands frequently;
- Please also observe general safety precautions such as not entering a stranger's home or sharing banking details.
Community members with suggestions on other ways we can support one another during this challenging time are invited to contact the Shire on 9290 6666 to share their ideas.
"Our community is our strength please take care of one another so we can get through this crisis together," Ms Foster said.
If you would like to help a neighbour, simply download and complete this flyer and leave it in your neighbour's letterbox. If you would like us to post you a copy of the flyer please call 9290 6666.
Relief and recovery strategies adopted to counter COVID-19 crisis - 3 April 2020
Shire of Mundaring Council has adopted a raft of relief and recovery strategies aimed at supporting community members and groups, local businesses and industry through the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.
During a Special Council Meeting held via video conference last night, Council agreed to:
- Prepare a budget for 2020-21 based on no rate revenue increase and no increases to Shire fees and charges;
- Offer increased flexibility in payment options for all accounts receivable, including rates.
In addition, effective from 1 April 2020, the Shire will:
- Write off all receivable lease payments from local community organisations for six months;
- Offer its commercial tenants a six month freeze on all lease payments, with lease payments payable after 1 October 2020;
- Consider requests for additional relief from commercial lessees on a case-by-case basis where demonstrable financial hardship can be verified;
- Commit to not commencing any proceedings to evict tenants from leased properties for six months;
- Commit to not commencing any legal action for debt recovery for six months;
- Stop levying any new penalty interest charges on outstanding rates for six months.
"This crisis doesn't fit into the usual parameters of an emergency situation. We are living in unprecedented times and COVID 19 affects everyone," Shire President Cr John Daw said.
"When a State of Emergency was called last month, we acted swiftly to close facilities and public playgrounds, call off non-essential work and implement the Shire's business continuity planning.
"This next step will provide some immediate and longer term relief to those community members who are feeling the financial strain but we know there is much more to do before this crisis ends.
"CEO Jonathan Throssell and Shire staff are thanked for their steadfast response as the crisis unfolded and Council is committed to implementing further relief and recovery measures in coming months."
Cr Daw will Chair a new Shire of Mundaring Local Relief and Recovery Coordinating Committee (LRRCC) with Cr Simon Cuthbert as Deputy Chair.
The committee will lead the Shire's relief and recovery efforts and include an economic sub-committee chaired by Cr Darrell Jones with Cr James Martin as deputy and a community sub-committee chaired by Cr Kate Driver with Cr Jason Russell as deputy.
"The LRRCC will oversee the Shire's strategies to provide relief to people, groups and businesses during the declared COVID 19 State of Emergency period and when the emergency ends, it will lead the Shire's efforts in rebuilding the social and financial strength of our community," Cr Daw said.
Community members, businesses and agencies will be selected to join the LRRCC and its sub-committees.
"These committees will do some of Council's most critically important work this year," Cr Daw added.
"Council is determined to do its best. We will be taking expert advice and listening to our residents and businesses. We are part of the state and federal action plan to get through this challenge and emerge as a stronger community."
For more information about the above financial relief measures, contact the Shire on 9290 6666 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administration Building and Operations Depot now closed to public - 25 March 2020
The Shire of Mundaring Administration Building and Operations Depot has been closed to the public until at least the end of April.
This decision was made following Commonwealth and the State Government announcements yesterday to close all non-essential local government facilities, maintain social distancing guidelines and for people to 'stay home unless absolutely necessary'.
Closure, which can into effect on Wednesday 25 March 2020, will protect our employees and visitors to these facilities and slow the spread of the virus within our community.
The Shire is still operating and providing essential community services where possible and staff will continue to be available online, via email and phone.
It is recommended that people phone reception on 9290 6666 to speak to the relevant staff member to discuss how we can best assist them.
For a full list of services and facilities affected by closures visit the Shire's website.
You can complete most business transactions and payments through our online services, the payment section of our website (Rates only) or by phone.
Deliveries can be left at the front door during business hours.
We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your cooperation.
A message from the Shire President - 25 March 2020
Watch the video here...