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Gympie Regional Council Continues To Address COVID-19 Impact On Community
Gympie Regional Council Mayor Mick Curran has called a special council meeting for 9am Tuesday morning regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact this is having on the community.
The Mayor, in his role as chairperson has also called a meeting of the Local Disaster Management Group, which is currently on Alter status, for Monday.
Council has been responding to the emerging situation regarding COVID-19 for over 2 weeks now with Councils Executive Team regularly meeting to develop and implement plans to deal with the unfolding Pandemic.
Numerous events and activities have been cancelled with the latest service to be impacted being the Gympie Regional Libraries which will close to customers from Monday 23 March until further notice in order to help slow the spread of the virus.
Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith highlighted some of the areas of concern.
“We’re currently working and planning for the continuation of our critical services should the situation significantly escalate, how we deliver these, with the priority of ensuring the ongoing welfare and safety of staff and the community.” He said.
“We are also looking at how we can best support local business. We know businesses are already hurting; what are the measures Council could take to deal with the economic impact? We are also talking to the chambers of commerce and will update the community very soon on this.”
Bernard Smith said some of the proposals being looked at included reducing or eliminating business costs and fees and the promotion of the region with a shop local campaign to name a few.
“We’re also looking at our capital works program with an emphasis on projects with a high employment and local content in order to support local employment,” he said.
“We will do all we can as a Council to support our community through these uncertain times, this is our priority and our focus.” Bernard Smith said. “Once the Council have met on Tuesday, we will update the community on any decisions made, with staff putting into place the outcomes as soon as possible.”
Council will be establishing a hotline next week to assist businesses who have general enquiries, need particular advice, or are working under regulatory requirements which do not directly impact the community but are restricting the business’ ability to operate under the current circumstances, which if where more flexible, would be of assistance.
“It's important that we all support our local businesses any way that we can and I would encourage the community to shop local if they are able to.”
Gympie Regional Council will update the community via the council website, facebook page and local media outlets.
For Health advice or information visit www.health.qld.gov.au
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