Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The safety of our communities, customers and employees is our top priority. We are monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) daily. Please follow the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services for the most reliable information, updates and advice about the outbreak of COVID-19.

Stage 3 Restrictions - effective from midnight Monday 30 March 2020

Following a National Cabinet meeting on Sunday 29 March, the Prime Minister announced further measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.  

The Stage 3 restrictions include:

  • A limit on both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only. Exceptions to this limit include:
    • People of the same household going out together;
    • Funerals - a maximum of 10 people;
    • Wedding - a maximum of 5 people;
    • Family units.
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places will be closed.
  • Bootcamps will be reduced to two persons, including the trainer.

Victoria Police will issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow the rules.

There are only four reasons to leave your home:

  • shopping for what you need - food and necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs;
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

Advice for Senior Australians and people with existing health conditions

Coronavirus has more serious impacts on older Australians, those over 70 years of age and Australians with existing health conditions or comorbidities. National Cabinet’s strong advice is for self-isolation at home to the maximum extent practicable for Australians:

  • over 70 years of age;
  • over 60 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
  • Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

Moratorium on evictions for six months

National Cabinet has agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus. Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side.

Victorian Business Support Fund 

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to support small businesses in the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

Commonwealth Government funding and resources

On 29 March, the Prime Minister announced a $1.1 billion package to boost mental health services, domestic violence support, Medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief.

The Commonwealth Government has also launched a new “Coronavirus Australia” app and WhatsApp channel, now available on Apple and Android devices. The WhatsApp channel can be accessed by entering aus.gov.au/whatsapp into your internet browser.

The Government’s digital mental health portal, Head to Health will be a single source of authoritative information and guidance on how to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Family violence resources

family violence support section has been added to the DHHS website which provides details on services available for the community.

 

Information about Indigo Shire Council facilities and services

Following the recent State Government announcement regarding the coronavirus shut-down measures, there have been a number of changes to Council facilities and services.

What Council services have changed or closed?

Following the recent State Government announcement regarding the coronavirus shut-down measures, the following changes have been made to council services and facilities. We are striving to deliver most of our services online or by telephone and will continue to make modifications as required to ensure we play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

If any of these closures cause you personal or financial hardship, please contact us on 1300 365 003.

Council offices and customer service centres

Indigo Shire customer service centres in Beechworth, Yackandandah and Rutherglen closed at 5pm Monday 23 March until further notice.

While the physical building will is now closed, we continue to provide customer service online and over the phone. You can make a request online here, contact us on 1300 365 003 or via info@indigoshire.vic.gov.au

Maternal and child health and immunisation clinics

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) consultations will be moving primarily to telephone appointments. Our MCH nurses will be in contact with clients directly via phone or text message. The Maternal and Child Health telephone advice line is also available on 13 22 29. For advice on children's health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DHHS Victoria has prepared this fact sheet:

Playgroups

Suspended until further notice.

Libraries

Indigo Shire libraries are closed, including all library programs. We have online books and resources to access with your membership including Borrow Box, and we are working on alternative service delivery models. Access our online resources here.

  • You can still return items via the after hours chute
  • You can still phone and email staff for assistance
  • Item due dates will be extended as needed

Swimming pools

Indigo Shire swimming pools are closed until further notice.

Beechworth's Burke Museum and Historic Precinct

The Burke Museum and Historic Precinct  are closed until further notice. We will reopen as soon as advice changes.

Visitor Information Centres

Indigo Shire’s Visitor Information Centres are closed until further notice. Telephone and online services continue as normal. 

Transfer stations

Our transfer stations are still open however we are no longer accepting cash payments.

Youth Services

The following Youth Services and Initiatives have been postponed until further notice: Youth Politics Camp, The Rainbow Ball 2020 and the North East Skate Park Series.

L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program

Suspended until further notice.

Outdoor play spaces

All Indigo Shire outdoor play spaces including playgrounds, skate parks and BBQs are now closed to the public. 

Sports Parks

Indigo Shire Council owned and managed recreation facilities are now closed until further notice. 

 

 

 

 

How do I make a payment if the customer service centres are closed?

Online payments

You can make online BPAY payments for the following:

 We can take phone payments for:

  • Building applications
  • Planning applications
  • Works within the roadside
  • Stormwater discharge

Will Council meetings still be held?

The Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday 31 March will NOT be able to commence and proceed.

Councillors are heeding the advice of the National Cabinet and Victorian Premier to stay at home, therefore it is expected that we will be unable to form the required quorum to start the meeting.

Under the Victorian Local Government Act, council meetings must be held face to face and not via any digital platforms, which is contrary to the Stage 3 restrictions which come into force from midnight tonight.

We await further direction from the State Government regarding changes to current law that will allow this meeting to proceed at a later time. Please watch out for further announcements in due course.

 

 

How is Council responding to the pandemic?

  • 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.
  • We have established an internal Pandemic Response Group which will meet daily to assess state and federal communications and directives, progress actions from our Pandemic Plan and determine communication requirements.
  • We are liaising with other local government agencies including the MAV, neighbouring Councils, and DHHS.
  • 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 reminded to practice good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Our staff are working from home where possible.

 

What support is available for businesses?

All levels of Government are working together to deliver stimulus and relief financial packages for businesses and workers and we are committed to supporting businesses and workers in Indigo Shire as we face this challenge together.  We will continue to update this page as relief measures are announced.

 

What hardship provisions exist for ratepayers?

We acknowledge the financial hardship the current crisis may be having on many of our ratepayers.  

The Federal Government has announced new measures to provide support to affected workers, businesses and the broader community. Find out more. 

Council’s Financial Hardship Policy provides for a number of flexible financial arrangements for ratepayers including:

  • Payment plan 
  • Rates and charges deferrals
  • Interest reduction

To discuss your options, please contact our Rates Team on 1300 003 365.

 

 

More information about COVID-19 

Where should I go for information and advice?

What can I do to reduce my risk of coronavirus infection?

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
  • Phone your doctor or the hotline – 1800 675 398 – if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
  • Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.

More frequently asked questions and fact sheets about coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

How can I report a breach of self-isolation and shut-down measures? 

Victoria Police is encouraging the community to report any breaches of mass gatherings and self-isolations following overseas travel to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

If you or anyone you know needs help

The Beyond Blue website also features a range of helpful resources.