Councils keep services operating

Councils across the country are getting on with business and are continuing to provide services and infrastructure, while taking steps to protect their staff and residents from COVID-19.

Armidale Regional Council, NSW, Mayor, Simon Murray, said, “It’s taking innovation and some different approaches to ensure it’s business as usual, while closely following Federal and State Government advice to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“Roads are being constructed and maintained, bridges are being replaced, waste services are ongoing and water services are being closely managed amid the ongoing challenges of the drought.

“We’re forging ahead with the considerable number of major projects we’re undertaking this year, to help ensure this region is as strong and vibrant as possible when the COVID-19 crisis is over.”

While administration buildings and some other Council facilities are closed from today until further notice, Council is reassuring its community they are doing all they can so they can to ensure continued access to services.

That includes office staff using online technology to connect with workmates and community members. Adjusted working practices have also been implemented for Council’s outdoor crews, so they can continue to operate while protecting their health.

City of Palmerston, NT, is supporting its community through its Liveable Cities grant scheme, virtual Library Storytime and free all-day parking.

The Liveable Cities grant scheme encourages commercial property and business owners to undertake upgrades and renovations to shopfronts through dollar for dollar funding, up to the value of the property or business owner’s annual rates.

The Palmerston Library will live stream Storytime events starting this Thursday 26 March 2020 through the City of Palmerston Facebook page. The Library has already started click and collect borrowing options, where members can select books which will be ready for collection soon after providing access to Library resources and maintaining social distancing requirements.

Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell, said, “COVID-19 is changing the way in which all of us live our daily life and these initiatives go to supporting our local Palmerston community in these unprecedented times”.

ALGA President, Mayor David O’Loughlin, wrote last week, while councils would make decisions on keeping facilities open based on their own individual circumstances, issues warranting consideration could include providing community members with a safe space to visit, offering a place where they could get the information they need, or to allow members of the public who don’t have online access or have language difficulties to interact with council staff.

He added, “Regardless of decisions around facilities Councils will continue to operate, keeping communities and local economies functioning.”