Media releases

Whilst social distancing measures have forced the temporary closure of some Shire facilities, Shire of Augusta Margaret River staff are continuing to respond to community needs via alternative service models, with a number of workers redeployed to different teams.

Shire Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown said the organisation had adapted some of its services and resourcing structures as a temporary measure in response to the pandemic.

 “Whilst face-to-face contact with community members is restricted at this time, most staff are working in their usual roles with a number redeployed to assist teams experiencing greater service demand,” she said.

“Among the redeployments include Recreation Centre and Customer Service staff who are assisting the Shire’s Recovery team to make calls to vulnerable community members and connecting those in need with relevant support services.

“They are also assisting with the surge in interest for the Shire’s Community Care Package funding, providing support for the application and assessment process. These teams are also linking up people interested in volunteering with community groups in need of additional volunteers.

“Other examples of redeployments include Recreation Centre staff undertaking necessary water sampling to support our Environmental Health team who have an increased focus on the pandemic and public health issues.

“Some of our caravan parks staff will be undertaking parks and gardens maintenance work in Augusta for a couple of weeks.

 “We are also in close liaison with the Margaret River Community Centre and Augusta Community Resource Centre, looking at making Shire staff available as back-up should they become short staffed in delivering critical community services.

Ms Addison-Brown said the adapted practices enabled the Shire to keep staff employed, all of whom make up a large part of our community.

 “In terms of Shire staffing, it is important to note that the Shire is a team of people and not just the buildings that house them.

“Each person working at the Shire has a family to support, and as one of the largest employers in the region we are exploring all reasonable avenues to keep people employed.

“At this time, JobKeeper payments are not applicable to Local Governments employees.”

Ms Addison-Brown outlined the services continuing to be delivered to community members through alternative means.

“Our library staff are operating a click and collect ‘takeaway library’ service that’s seen a tremendous uptake,” she said.

“Our Recreation Centre team are continuing to provide childcare services to essential workers and delivering virtual fitness with online classes.

“Our Customer Services team are still available via phone and email to support the community with queries," she said.

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PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

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