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Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith is encouraging residents to use Council’s suite of online services after the organisation’s two remaining customer service points closed yesterday.
“On the back of the recent rules around social distancing, residents will no longer be able to visit our usual customer contact centres in person,” Mr Smith said.
“We do have a wide range of services available online and I would encourage all residents who require interaction with Council to use these digital tools,” he said.
Residents and Council customers can visit gympie.qld.gov.au to browse Council’s online services or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer contact staff are still available via Council’s 1300 307 800 telephone number should you have any questions about navigating Council’s website or online services.
“These are challenging times for all of us,” said Mr Smith.
“While a vital part of Council’s interaction with the community is via our customer contact points, it is for the safety of our staff and the wider community that they are closed.
“Many residents may have never used our online services.
If this is the case and you are experiencing difficulties, don’t hesitate to call 1300 307 800 and a staff member will talk you through everything you need to know,” he said.
It is hard to believe that your current Council was elected only five-and-a-half months ago, and although I feel we have achieved a lot, I understand that sometimes looking in, it may not look like it. Six months ago, I was one of those in the community trying to understand exactly how Council runs.
One particular subject I find of importance is understanding and accepting the true life-long costs of infrastructure and assets.
For example, the initial purchase of a car (say $20k) is the cheap part. It’s the overheads of maintenance/servicing, operational costs of registration, insurance, fuel and depreciation that could have that car’s life-long costings skywards of $60k.
This also applies to Council. With assets, whether we build or buy, we need to ask the question; can we afford this and is it good use of the council budget?
We have to get these basics right, so our community does not have to pay for these mistakes well into the future.
We need to take the time to ensure our decisions are right for our residents. We cannot rush into things and as much as I’d like to see some projects completed yesterday, some things will just take time.
Our new CEO is ensuring we are kept well informed so the right decisions are made, and although I wish I could share with the community everything that we are informed on, with the new laws, legislation and triple C rules, we’re not always able to. I do understand why and the importance but there are times I wish I could share more with our residents.
Being a councillor is a privilege and I’m honoured that I get to serve and represent our community. As a fourth generation, born and bred local – I’m sure my family and my ancestors would be proud that I continue to do my part to ensure our community is the best in Australia - it’s an absolute honour to serve the region of my heart and soul. My beautiful region of Gympie.
Councillor Shane Waldock