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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 is currently in the Last Step towards a COVID Normal. While restrictions are starting to ease some Council services are still affected. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Read the Last Step summary of restrictions.


 

Essential services

Council services have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are currently reviewing our services in line with the recently announced restrictions. Throughout the pandemic we have continued to essential services with some changes to how we deliver them. These include:

• 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

Please note public access to our Customer Service Centre in Castlemaine has reopened for limited to-face services including general queries, pet registrations and payments. Precautions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include:

• Limits on the number of people in the area
• Floor markers to help maintain safe physical distancing
• Hand sanitiser available at entry points
• Customer registration slips to facilitate contract tracing if needed
• Signage to manage the flow of people in and out of the building, and
• Perspex screens to protect customers and visitors.

Staff are continuing to respond to other customer service requests and technical queries such as planning and building inquiries by phone, email and online. Council can be contacted in several ways:

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 Centre in Castlemaine is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm each day, and Maldon Visitor Information Centre is open on weekends to help visitors with accommodation bookings, souvenirs and things to see and do in the shire.

Staff are also available to offer assistance by phone 1800 171 888, seven days a week to ensure visitors and local businesses are supported at this time.

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 a planning online service request.

Venues and community facilities

Indoor sports facilities at sports and recreation reserves are operating as per current public health restrictions. We will be working with management committees and user groups to support a safe reopening. Please check with individual clubs and committees on what is permitted and open.

Council's venues are open again subject to public health guidelines.

Indoor venues
Our indoor venues are open again and available for limited hire from Monday 16 November 2020.
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. 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.
Check the current booking calendar to see what spaces and times are available.
- Booking Process
- Outdoor space use terms and conditions

Please contact the Venues and Events team on 03 5471 1700 if you have any questions.

Public amenities such as toilets remain open at this stage with strict cleaning procedures in place.

Events

During the pandemic, Council cancelled or postponed face-to-face events in response to restrictions on non-essential public gatherings and activities. This included volunteer workshops, information sessions, exhibitions, festivals, youth markets, and open days. Council is continuing to run youth programs, business workshops, Council Meetings and selected community forums and events online. We will review opportunities to resume events as the restrictions ease.

Parks, reserves and playgrounds

Council-managed sports pavilions are currently closed.

Public playgrounds, skate parks and BMX parks have reopened under Step 3.

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. Face coverings are mandatory across Victoria. However, if you are doing exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running, you do not need to wear a face covering.

You must carry a face covering with you when you exercise unless you have a lawful excuse for not wearing a face covering such as a medical condition or are under the age of 12.

Waste services

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

While Castlemaine and Maldon Waste Facilities are open, residents are encouraged to delay non-essential visits.

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.

Payment at the Castlemaine facility is by EFTPOS /card only.

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

Stay at home 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. Some individual services are starting up with changes.

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

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 currently running a series of online activities, and other special events, to connect and engage young people aged 12 - 25 at this time. Stay-up-to date via 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

Castlemaine Library is open to the public again within Victorian Government guideiines. To keep everyone safe please following the guidelines when visiting.

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

Community centres

Castlemaine Community House
Castlemaine Community House (CCH) has resumed a number of courses, activities and services. Centrelink agency services, financial counselling, tax help and no interest loans are available by appointment. Call 5472 4842 to book. For more information about CCH services call 5472 4842 or visit www.cch.org.au.

Maldon Neighbourhood House
Maldon Neighbourhood Centre remains closed at 6 November 2020 but is preparing to reopen. Some programs such as community walks, life-long learning and clubs and societies are still running.

To find out what is still running visit www.maldonnc.org.au/news.

Contact Maldon Neighbourhood House on 5475 2093 for more information and support, or visit www.maldonnc.org.au.

CHIRP Community Health Services

CHIRP Community Health has reopened its doors during business hours from Monday to Friday, except between 12.30pm and 1.30pm each day. The doors close at 4.30pm on Friday.

Staff continue to deliver telephone support and most services by telehealth. Critical clinical services are provided face-to-face.

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. For more information visit www.chirp.org.au.

CHIRP also offers a Justice of the Peace service from 1.00pm to 3.00pm on Tuesdays by appointment only. Call reception to make an appointment.

Testing clinic

There is a drive-through COVID-19 screening clinic that operates three days a week at CHIRP Community Health. Testing is available by appointment only for community members showing symptoms of coronavirus or who need mandatory testing before surgery. Contact CHIRP to make an appointment.

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