As a community we are in the midst of very uncertain times – the most uncertain that most of us can remember.
COVID-19 is certainly taking a toll on our lives, and the way live.
Local businesses are being forced to close, or at least scale back their operations, and many within our community have lost their jobs.
What used to be our simple pleasures – such as taking the kids for a play at a local park, watching our favourite sporting team or having a laugh over a coffee with a few friends – are no longer possible.
The Devonport City Council has already taken some steps to assist the community and a COVID-19 Response Committee has been established to look at the best ways to assist.
Almost two weeks ago we announced that parking would be free in all Council car parks and street meters, subject to people obeying the time restrictions and not parking illegally in areas such as loading zones and parking spaces for people with disabilities.
Last week Council waived penalty charges for the late payment of its April rates instalment and decided to waive future parking permit fees for at least the next month.
We know we will have to do more to support all those in our community, and we will.
Council provides many essential services to the community – from rubbish and recycling collections, through to cleaning our streets and gutters, and fixing our roads and footpaths – and all these services come at a cost.
Our frontline staff are continuing to work through the challenges of this pandemic to continue to provide the high-quality community services the people of Devonport expect from us.
If any resident is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would urge them to reach out to Council to discuss the various payment options available to assist them.
We will continue to monitor the latest health advice and any changes to its operations would be shared with the community across its website and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Last week was a particularly challenging one for the community, with the first death from COVID-19 being reported.
While this will have caused extra anxiety, and our sympathy is extended to the family, as a community we must continue to follow the State Government’s guidelines to stop the spread.
We should all stay at home unless we need to be away from home for the exceptions outlined by the Government which include shopping for supplies, exercising, attending work or school or providing social support or care to another person.
By following the guidelines you are not only keeping yourself safe but helping to keep or community safe.
Remember, we are all in this together.
So, let’s all stay safe and be kind to one another.
Together our community, the State and the country will get through this.
CR ANNETTE ROCKLIFF