Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Assistance packages for residents

Council has launched a package of assistance measures to help residents and business operators survive these difficult times.

Residents:

  • Residential ratepayers can enter into a payment arrangement or apply for financial hardship consideration regarding rates.  Each case will be assessed on individual circumstances with outcomes customised according to the need of each case.
  • No interest has been raised on overdue residential rates since the Alpine Shire was impacted by bushfires early in 2020 - this will be extended to the 30 June 2020.
  • An extension of the due date of the 4th rates payment installment has been put in place to 30 June 2020.
  • Council will continue to maintain a vulnerable person’s register as described by the Department of Health and Human Services, Council’s Emergency Management Team will also work with partner agencies to assist the most vulnerable in our community.

Information on support for business is available on our Coronavirus Business Support page.


Important information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

On Monday, 16 March Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of emergency in Victoria over novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Wednesday, 11 March the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Alpine Shire Council is closely monitoring the situation and working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

For up-to-date information, please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available on the DHHS website including:

  • What is coronavirus?
  • How is coronavirus spread?
  • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
  • What is close contact?
  • Who is most at risk of coronavirus?
  • What if I have travelled overseas?
  • Should I cancel my travel plans?
  • I am feeling unwell, what should I do?
  • Where are the coronavirus assessment centres?

What is Alpine Shire Council doing in response to COVID-19?

  • Council is closely monitoring the situation and working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • In line with advice from the Victorian Government, the following facilities are CLOSED until further notice:
    • Bright Council Office
    • All playgrounds
    • Bright Sports Centre
    • Mount Beauty Stadium
    • Mount Beauty Swimming Pool
    • Myrtleford Swimming Pool
    • Bright Splash Park
    • Porepunkah Toddler Pool
    • Visitor Information Centres in Bright, Myrtleford and Mount Beauty
    • Community Centres and Halls across the Alpine Shire
    • Myrtleford, Bright and Mount Beauty libraries - more information on how we will help meet demand for books via ‘click and collect’ and limited home delivery service will be available soon!

Myrtleford, Porepunkah and Mount Beauty Transfer Stations will remain OPEN as usual. We request you practise social distancing, and do not attend if unwell.

Our Bright office is now CLOSED.

Contact Customer Service via phone on 5755 0555 or email info@alpineshire.vic.gov.au.

Please check this page regularly to stay up-to-date about Council’s response to COVID-19 - this is a fast-moving, constantly changing situation.


Alpine Communities Food Access Guide

Alpine Health has compiled an Alpine Communities Food Access Guide to support all community members to access local food.

Included are contact details of emergency food relief services in each Alpine township, as well as links to local food producers, food outlets, community gardens and food swaps. 


Mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable during times like this that people may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
While it is important to stay informed, lifeline.org.au and beyondblue.org.au have some mental health and wellbeing tips and strategies to continue looking after ourselves and each other during these difficult times. The Lifeline telephone, text and webchat services will continue as normal throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

To contact Lifeline:

Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days)
Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – midnight AEDT, 7 nights)
Chat online: www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat (7pm - midnight, 7 nights)

To contact Beyond Blue:

Phone: 1300 22 4636 (24 hours/ 7days)
Chat online: www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support (3pm - 12am, 7 days)
Email: online.beyondblue.org.au/email/#/send
Get a response in 24 hours

Communicating with your child about COVID-19

Many parents and carers may be wondering how to talk with their child or children about COVID-19 and what information to share. Emerging Minds has a resource designed to help parents and caregivers to prepare for these conversations.


Stage 3 Restrictions - Monday, 30 March

Further measures to slow the spread of coronavirus were announced on Sunday, 29 March. Victoria introduced Stage 3 restrictions from 11:59pm Monday, 30 March.

The Stage 3 restrictions include:

  • Playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places are CLOSED
  • Bootcamps will be reduced to two persons, including the trainer
  • 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

Victoria Police are now able to 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.

Where people can stay at home, they must stay at home. 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

Stage 2 Restrictions - Wednesday, 25 March

The Victorian Government has announced new measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). They come into force at midnight on 25 March 2020.

The most important message for all Victorians is to stay at home and avoid all gatherings of people. This minimises the chances of transmission, protects the health system and saves lives.

If you are with other people, you must observe the rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres to ensure a safe physical distance.

If you are in doubt about whether you should go out, go to the shops, take public transport, or let your children go on a play date – the simple answer is don’t.

These measures include the closure of caravan and camping parks except:

  • Where the accommodation is for the purposes of respite
  • For victims of family violence, other vulnerable groups or for care purposes
  • Where people live there permanently 
  • As an interim abode where the primary residence is not available

View a full list of new restrictions and closures


Stage 1 Restrictions - Monday, 23 March

In response to the strong coronavirus control measures announced by the Premier, Council is urging all visitors to return home as soon as possible.

The Victorian Government has announced a number of new measures to slow the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Key to these Victorian Government measures is strict advice to limit non-essential travel. In response to this, it is important that visitors who are currently in the Alpine Shire change their plans, and go home.

Anyone planning to visit the region is urged to postpone their trip until the threat of coronavirus is reduced.

Under Stage 1 of the Government’s shut down of non-essential activity, a shut down of a number of non-essential businesses will come into effect from midday today (Monday, 23 March) until at least 13 April.

The businesses that will close due to the Stage 1 shutdown include pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, places of worship, cinemas and entertainment venues. Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide home delivery or takeaway services.

We understand that these measures will have a drastic impact on our local business community.

The Australian Government has introduced a second stimulus package, worth $66 billion, to support workers, businesses and families who are struggling.

What can you do?

  • Consider how you can limit your travel - can you work from home?
  • If you’re visiting, return home.
  • Support local business - many businesses are now offering takeaway and delivery options - support them if you can!
  • Local businesses - consider selling online and letting the community know you’re still trading.
  • Get your information from the correct source - misinformation and rumours aren’t helpful. Visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au for accurate information and keep up-to-date with ABC News.

This is a constantly-changing environment - stay informed and follow the direction outlined by the government.


Australian Government Economic Assistance

The Australian Government is acting decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses and address the significant economic consequences of coronavirus.

The Government’s economic response targets three areas:

Supporting Individuals and Households

This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

  • Income support for individuals
  • Payments to support households
  • Temporary early release of superannuation
  • Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates
  • Reducing social security deeming rates

Learn more about support for individuals and households

Support for Businesses

  • Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.
  • Boosting cash flow for employers
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off
  • Backing business investment
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees

Learn more about support for businesses

Supporting the Flow of Credit

The Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy. Timely access to credit is vital for businesses to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus.

Learn more about supporting the flow of credit


Hotline help for businesses dealing with COVID-19 impacts

A hotline is available for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The pandemic is creating issues for businesses large and small who are facing a downturn in trade, bans on events and restrictions on indoor gatherings, as well as challenges in dealing with employee safety and entitlements.

Given the rapidly changing nature of the crisis, businesses need quick access to accurate information on how to keep their workplace safe, and advice on how to plan to deal with the current situation and anticipate likely developments.

Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Operators calling the hotline will be able to get information about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans.

The hotline will provide the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and how this affects businesses, including how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package.

In addition to calling the Business Victoria hotline, business operators can also find information at business.vic.gov.au.


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