Devonport City Council has announced a broad range of measures in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
This includes the closure of some facilities, the suspension of Council meetings and varied staff work arrangements to ensure the continuity of essential services.
A Committee has also been formed to develop financial support measures for those affected within the community.
As a result of latest advice from medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council will close several facilities effective as from Wednesday morning.
From 8 a.m. on 25 March, Council’s Customer Service operations and meeting rooms in the paranaple centre and at the Works Depot, the Bass Strait Maritime Centre, the Devonport Regional Gallery, Visitor Information Centre, Providore Place food pavilion and paranaple convention centre will be closed until further notice.
Council officers will not be holding any non-essential face-to-face meetings with the public from that time but remote meetings for clients can be organised by telephoning 6424 0511 or by emailing [email protected]
Recreation centres and sporting clubrooms were closed from lunchtime Monday and café outlets in Providore Place and the paranaple centre have been only offering takeaway services from midday today, in-line with an announcement by health authorities yesterday.
Council meetings, workshops and committee meetings have also been cancelled until further notice.
The Splash Aquatic Centre has also closed.
The Spreyton Waste Transfer Station will continue to operate in accord with its normal trading hours.
Paywave is the preferred payment method but cash will be accepted if the correct amount is offered. Receipts will not be issued, unless requested.
Many of Council’s payments can still be made through its website at www.devonport.tas.gov.au and anyone who is having difficulty accessing this service can contact Council on 6424 0511 or by emailing [email protected]
The Mayor, Cr Annette Rockliff, said considering the recent restrictions regarding indoor spaces announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday, and as a precaution to protect both staff and visitors, Council had no option but to introduce the measures.
“Council has sought to operate in accordance within the restrictions imposed by health officials during this time and acknowledges that it can no longer be business as usual if we are to be proactive in reducing the risk to both our community and our staff,” she said.
“As a further precautionary measure, office staff will be working from home on a rotational basis in preparation for if, or when, this becomes essential. Outdoor staff are being grouped into smaller teams with different start and finish locations to minimise risk to service delivery.
“Given the nature of the pandemic we do not know how long these closures will last nor if any other services will be affected in the future.
“What I can say is that Council remains committed to serving the community as best it can, considering the restrictions placed on it.
“We will continue to keep the community informed of any further changes as they become necessary and would encourage the community to keep an eye on our website and social media for further updates.
“I would also encourage the community to remain vigilant in following the health guidelines – particularly as they relate to regular handwashing and maintain safe distances – as they are updated.”
Council last night also agreed to cancel any further Council and Section 23 Committee meetings and Councillors’ workshop until further notice.
It has formed a COVID-19 Response Committee consisting of three Councillors and relevant senior staff to develop and implement strategies to provide assistance, support and relief for the inevitable hardship many in the community will experience during the crisis.
Council was also told that the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were not fully known but will significantly impact Councils financial position.
It is likely that a full revision of Council’s 10-year financial plan will be necessary to reset the annual parameters to guide Council’s budget process.
Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council | 03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 | [email protected]