Towong Shire

Coronavirus / COVID-19

Coronavirus / COVID-19
We know this is the last thing our community needs, however we ask that you consider the needs of our most vulnerable residents at this time by following the latest advice to help limit the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). You can find the most reliable and current information at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

The safety of the community and our employees is our top priority. Counci has continued to monitor developments and the latest advice from State and Federal Health Departments, continuing to adapt how we operate during this time.

April 10 2020: Mayor David Wortmann provides an update on how Council is responding to Coronavirus - read it here.

Coronavirus Hotline

  • If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Council Offices

  • As of Monday June 1 our Customer Service Centres are now open to walk-in visitors. To continue keeping our staff and communities safe, there will be limitations on the number of visitors, sanitising stations on entry and regular thorough cleaning of spaces. We ask visitors to continue to call or email wherever possible. Contact details and opening hours are available at https://www.towong.vic.gov.au/about-council/customer-service-centres/

COVID-19 Hardship Policy

  • We know that these are difficult times for everyone and the impact on the economic wellbeing of our communities will be significant.
  • The COVID-19 Hardship Policy introduced by Council at the April meeting, will help ease the pressure for those facing financial hardship by providing greater flexibility through payment plans or deferment, without interest being applied.
  • Please contact our Property and Rates team (02 6071 5100) to discuss an option that works for you.

Disabled Parking Permits

  • Renewing? Call Council on 6071 5100 to arrange for your permit to be renewed and mailed to you.

  • Applying for a new permit? Call Council on 6071 5100 and we will organise to get an application form to you for completion. Completed forms can be returned by mail.

Events and Public Gatherings

  • Currently, you can organise a public gathering of no more than 10 people. The 10 person limit includes members of your household, however if more than 10 people ordinarily live together they can meet in a public place as a household.
  • As a result, Council will be cancelling or rescheduling any events of this size, along with reviewing any events that are non-essential. 

Financial Support

The Australian Government is acting decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of the Coronavirus. The Government’s $320 Billion economic response targets the following three areas. For details visit https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

1. Support Individuals and Households

  • JobKeeper payment for households 
  • Income support for individuals 
  • Payments to support households 
  • Temporary early release of superannuation 
  • Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates 
  • Reducing social security deeming rates

2. Support for Businesses

  • JobKeeper payment 
  • Boosting cash flow for employers 
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses 
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off
  • Backing business investment
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees

3. Supporting the Flow of Credit 

Victorian Government Business Support

Kindergartens

  • Tallangatta, Bellbridge and Corryong Kindergartens remain in operation with appropriate protocols in place in line with the latest requirements and advice
  • If you think a child, student or staff member may have the coronavirus please call the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to discuss further actions on 1300 651 160. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Landfills, Transfer Stations and Waste Collection

  • Our Transfer Stations remain open and operational as normal with social distancing practices in place. Review operating hours here.
  • Waste collection continues to operate as normal.

Libraries and Library Activities

  • From Monday 1st June the Tallangatta Library and Corryong Elyne Mitchell Library are now open and have resuming normal operating hours.
  • To continue keeping our staff and communities safe, there will be limitations on the number of visitors, sanitising stations on entry and regular thorough cleaning of spaces. 
  • We ask visitors to continue to call or email wherever possible, including using the ‘Click, Call and Collect’ service available at both Libraries.

Long Day Care

  • Long Day Care Centres remain in operation with appropriate protocols in place in line with the latest requirements and advice
  • If you think a child, student or staff member may have the coronavirus please call the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to discuss further actions on 1300 651 160. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Maternal and Child Health Nurses

  • As an essential service, Maternal and Child Health Nurses continue to operate however social distancing will be in place and practices such as phone or video appointments will be implemented wherever possible. Additional cleaning will also be implemented between clients.
  • Contact your Maternal or Child Health Nurse directly to find out more.

Mental Health Support 

Following the traumatic situation of the bushfires and now combined with Coronavirus, it is normal to feel scared, overwhelmed, anxious and confused. Anyone directly or indirectly affected by the fires can have these feelings. If these feelings are affecting you, it is important that you seek help. It has been shown that early treatment of these symptoms can effectively help to reduce the risk of future mental health issues.

Some wonderful advice and resources can be found through the following websites:

Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak 

Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Head to Health through the Australian Government https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19

Support is also available over the phone, including:

Bushfire Counselling | 1300 514 811
Corryong Health | 02 6076 3200
Lifeline Bushfire Helpline | 13 43 57 
MensLine Australia | 1300 789 978
Beyond Blue | 1300 224 636

Parks and Skate Parks

  • From Monday 25 May public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skateparks were reopened. 

  • To keep yourself and your family and friends safe, please stay 1.5 metres away from others and practice good hygiene.

  • Find the latest guidelines at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au

Parks and Gardens Maintenance

  • Parks and Gardens Maintenance has continued with social distancing practices in place. Key areas will be prioritised including the Triangles in Tallangatta and Attree Park, Corryong.

Public Toilets

  • Public toilets remain open and will continue to be cleaned regularly.

Ranger Services

  • Ranger Services will continue to operate as normal. Contact Council on (02) 6071 5100 or email info@towong.vic.gov.au to report any incidences requiring Ranger support.

Rate Relief

  • In the wake of the bushfires, Council secured funding from Bushfire Recovery Victoria to assist with providing rate relief. 
  • The funds will be used by Council to credit part of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 rates and business registration fees, as well as fees related to rebuilding of private assets in fire-affected areas.
  • While the 2020/21 Budget is currently being prepared, Council has approved to apply some of the funds so that there is no rate increase for next year.
  • Under the COVID-19 Hardship Policy, residents are able to apply for a range of flexible options to help ease financial pressures. These include payment plans or deferment, without interest being applied. Please contact our Property and Rates team (02 6071 5100) to discuss an option that works for you.

Recovery – the Upper Murray Recovery Hub

  • Recovery services have continued to operate virtually throughout COVID-19. Following the easing of restrictions, the Upper Murray Recovery Hub can now welcome drop-in visits with limited numbers to maintain physical distancing.

  • Drop by for general assistance, or if you need one-on-one assistance in relation to a specific issue, please continue to make an appointment so we can schedule the available space.

  • To arrange a meeting call the Recovery Team on  1800 518 222 (Mon - Fri 9am - 4.30pm) or email recovery@towong.vic.gov.au

Road Maintenance and Inspections

  • Road Maintenance and Inspections will continue, as will any customer requests. Please understand that work will be prioritised and any non-urgent requests may be delayed.

Sharps Container Collection/Disposal

  • Please call Council on 6071 5100 and we will organise a time for you to drop off your full container and collect an empty one.

Support for Businesses

  • Businesses across the state can quickly access the latest information on COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. The hotline provides the latest advice on how to keep workplaces and employees safe, as well as the latest requirements on events and indoor gatherings. 
  • In addition to calling the Business Victoria hotline, business operators can also find information at business.vic.gov.au.

Visitor Information Centre - Corryong

  • From Tuesday 2nd June the Corryong Visitor Information Centre welcomes visitors back. The Centre can be contacted on (02) 6076 2277 or email vic@towong.vic.gov.au

Waste - Bulk Periodic Hard Waste and Green Waste Collection

  • Planned green waste and hard waste collection across Towong Shire will now be postponed until it can be completed safely. When safe to resume the collection, residents will be updated here on the website and through local newspapers.
  • Please note, this does not include kerbside waste collection which continues to operate as normal.

How we are Responding

  • We are enacting elements of our Business Continuity Plan and Pandemic Plan to identify and implement appropriate measures to support staff and the community.
  • We are monitoring daily Health Alerts issued by State and Federal Governments and promoting DHHS Victoria as the primary source of information and health updates.
  • Our Senior Management Team is meeting daily to assess state and federal communications and directives, progress actions and determine communication requirements.
  • We are liaising with other local government agencies including the MAV, neighbouring Councils, and DHHS.

Council Staff

  • We are asking any employees who have recently been overseas or have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • All employees have been asked to practice social distancing, helping to flatten the curve of coronavirus and protect our most vulnerable community members.
  • All employees have been reminded to practice good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • We are working through flexible working options with our staff while we continue to deliver essential services.

Related Information

UPPER MURRAY COMMUNITY RECOVERY NEWSLETTER - APRIL 6 (PDF 601 KB)

UPPER MURRAY COMMUNITY RECOVERY NEWSLETTER - APRIL 13 (PDF 885 KB)

UPPER MURRAY COMMUNITY RECOVERY NEWSLETTER - APRIL 20 (PDF 852 KB)

Last updated: 10 July 2020