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People are being urged not to travel to the Margaret River Region before the intrastate regional travel restrictions come into full effect at 12.01am on Tuesday 31 March 2020.
Augusta Margaret River Shire President Ian Earl said resources in the region were limited and people should consider the additional strain they will put rural hospitals.
“Our hospitals and emergency services cannot deal with an influx of people,” Cr Earl said.
“Our supermarkets cannot deal with an influx of people.
“So our message is clear. Please stay home and do not travel here,” he said.
Cr Earl warned against some visitors using the region as a haven to ride out COVID-19 restrictions.
“We need to ensure the resources we do have can be directed at supporting the elderly and more vulnerable members of our community,” he said.
“Whilst we're a welcoming and inclusive community, we do need to put ourselves first on this occasion.
“Visitors considering coming down here to ride out COVID-19 restrictions will be contributing to the strain on resources, so please do not come,” he said.
Shire Chief Executive Officer, Stephanie Addison-Brown said Shire Rangers had been facilitating cheaper rates for those living in campervans to secure temporary accommodation locally.
“We are actively asking people living in campervans to move into accommodation,” she said.
“Those without the financial means to pay for accommodation are being urged to go to Perth before the travel restrictions come into play, where there is more affordable accommodation available and greater health care resources.
Cr Earl called for calm, and for people to respect the Law and social distancing measures.
“I want to discourage any vigilante-style behaviour by residents, and for people to remain calm.
“We need to respect the rule of law. The Shire is not responsible for closing roads and enforcing road closures, this is the role of the State Government.
“Please continue to practice social distancing as this is one of the best ways we can work together to slow the spread of this virus,” he said.
The travel ban is enforceable by police with fines up to $50,000.
More details about the intrastate travel ban and exemptions can be found at https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-and-transport-advice
The Shire would like to put community concerns at ease and remind residents that waste and resource recovery services are not expected to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or associated restrictions.
Waste is an essential service and our team is working closely with contractors and staff at waste facilities to limit disruptions to these services.
Please note the following:
Kerbside collections will continue as usual, however, there may be slight delays to regular collection times due to staggered rosters. The Shire’s contractor Cleanaway has implemented a series of measures to ensure business continuity is maintained whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of their employees.
All waste and recycling facilities remain operational with Davis Road remaining open to the general public 7 days a week from 8am – 4pm. We are still accepting cash at this stage but would ask the community to use the EFTPOS services at the gatehouse when possible – this remains the preferred method for payment.
The Poole Road, Kudardup Green Waste Open Day will go ahead as advertised on Saturday 28 March 2020, please be vigilant with social distancing on site if you are attending.
The Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day in the Margaret River Recreation Centre Carpark will go ahead as advertised on Saturday 4 April 2020. Please have items located in an accessible area of your vehicle so our staff can access it easily. You will not be permitted to exit your car at the drop off site. Community members will need to consent to having their car sprayed with a 70% Ethanol solution after the Cleanaway staff have removed the waste.The safety of our community and staff are of the utmost importance to us during this time and measures have been put in place to ensure that we can continue to provide these essential services safely and in compliance with the guidelines set out by the state and federal governments.
We would also like to remind residents with a kerbside collection that the waste and resource recovery services provided by the Shire are in line with the State Government’s preferred model and significant effort has gone into ensuring that all health and safety regulations are up to date and in compliance with the Health Act.
All food and organic waste should be disposed of in the lime green lid FOGO bin which is collected weekly. Using your bins correctly is now more important than ever as our increased hygiene efforts will inevitably create additional waste.
If residents are concerned about the capacity or frequency of their services we encourage you to contact our team to discuss the many options available to ensure you have the right service for your household.
If you have any questions about waste and resource recovery services please contact our team on (08 9780 5269 or email@example.com
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is advising people not to travel to the Margaret River Region.
The region has limited local health resources and crisis accommodation and is unable to cope with the influx in people.
International travellers who wish to return home are being advised to contact their Embassy or Consulate immediately to assist with repatriation options.
Travellers sleeping in their vehicles and using public toilet facilities to wash and do laundry, are being urged to secure accommodation for the next three to four months if they have the financial means, and are intending to stay in the Shire.
Many of these public facilities are likely to close in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Travellers without financial means of supporting themselves in Australia should contact their Embassy or Consulate to seek assistance to return home while it is still possible.
Travellers sleeping in their vehicles who are not working in the area are being asked to go to Perth immediately where more health resources, crisis and budget accommodation is available.
Information on accommodation options can be found at http://www.entrypointperth.com.au/directory/
Two million dollars in recovery support, a zero percent rate increase in 2020/21, and free outside school hours care for critical health and support workers are among the initiatives announced in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s COVID-19 Community Care Package.
In addition, ratepayers will also be able to access new flexible payments options, and the Shire will also waive all non-regulatory Shire fees and charges, and penalty interest charged on outstanding rates, from 26 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Council voted in the package as a means to ease the social and financial burdens on local community members, groups and businesses that are being experienced as part of the fallout from the current global COVID-19 health pandemic.
Shire President Ian Earl said the Community Care Package was voted in unanimous by Council at tonight’s Ordinary Meeting, with the $2m funding allocation still subject to public advertising period of one month.
“Hopefully the community can take some comfort in seeing the support that will be coming through at local government level,” he said.
“Federal and State funding support measures are already trickling through but we hope these additional measures, delivered at grassroots level, will further serve our community in withstanding this crisis.
“Funding will be coming from our Waste Reserve, which is in good shape recently as a result of the community being so diligent in complying to our new three bin system and new waste and resource recovery initiative.
“That’s been a huge effort and now is the right time to offer the benefits of that commitment back to the community.”
It is expected Community Care Funding will support services including, but not limited to, the following types of support:
Business Support Funding will support activities including, but not limited to:
To access the package benefits please email as follows:
A direct link the the Community Care package pdf is provided for your information.
The Shire will be ceasing to deliver non-essential, public-facing services by the end of the day in bid to preserve both staff and community safety as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues to unfold.
This means Shire Administration Centres, Recreation Centre, Libraries and Margaret River HEART will close to the public, with Caravan Parks to cease taking new bookings and check-ins.
The only exemptions to the public facilities shut down are services that are currently being determined as essential, such as outside school hours care where the Shire will continue to operate as long as it is legally possible (noting that crèche services are already suspended) and waste facilities.
Shire of Augusta Margaret River Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown said current goals were to continue to delivering as many community services possible via alternative means.
“We are closing down public facilities but we want for our community to know that staff and key stakeholders are working as quickly as possible to identify alternative means of service delivery,” she said.
“We will look at options for online and phone customer support, online or downloadable fitness classes, drive through or mobile library services, and any other options we can identify as being safe and in line with the changing State Government health guidelines.
“It may take some time to work through the exact arrangements for all of our services and facilities, but we will be proactive in keeping people informed at regular intervals.
“We will certainly endeavour to be responsive to the community’s needs and concerns at this time.”
Ms Addison-Brown said the Shire’s leadership team is investigating options to offer financial support and relief to residents, ratepayers, businesses and community groups.
“Again we have a number of ideas on the table and will be urgently working through the viability of the options,” she said.
“Hopefully we will be in a position to put the proposed support package to Council by Wednesday and inform everyone as to the measures shortly thereafter.”
The formation of the Shire’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Liaison Group was endorsed by Council last week, with membership including the Shire President, Deputy Shire President, one Councillor, CEO, Directors and the Community Emergency Services Manager.
Updates in regards to the Shire’s operations and community support packages will be announced via the Shire’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AMRShire/, and listed in further detail on the Shire’s website www.amrshire.wa.gov.au
Information about the Recreation Centre membership suspensions is available at https://www.recreation.amrshire.wa.gov.au/
PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285
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