Covid-19 Information and Updates - Updated 27 May

To reduce the number of face-to-face interactions with the community and protect our staff and their ability to carry out ongoing essential services, the Derwent Valley Council Offices are closed to the public until further notice.

Please be assured we are closing our doors only, not our services. We can still assist you over the phone or email, or in some circumstances, by appointment. 

Information on the Tasmanian Government and Council's response to COVID-19.

This information includes support available to individuals, business and community organisations including grant funding and mental health support and where to access further information around the pandemic and Council services.

Please stay home, save lives. Practice social distancing and good hygiene practises.

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Council's response to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
For updated information and advice related to COVID-19 go to https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au

For resources and fact sheets translated into other languages

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Council Services

To reduce the number of face-to-face interactions with the community and protect our staff and their ability to carry out ongoing essential services, the Derwent Valley Council Offices are closed to the public until further notice.

Please be assured we are closing our doors only, not our services.

  • If you have a service request, you can call us on 6261 8500, or email dvcouncil@dvc.tas.gov.au
  • You can pay your rates via BPAY, over the phone, in person at the Commonwealth Bank, or complete the deposit slip on your rates notice and drop into the mail slot with your cash or cheque for payment
  • You can view Development Applications on our website
  • The Peppermint Hill Tip is still open for now, but the Tip Shop is closed
  • The Valley Children’s Centre is still open and providing care to your children if you need to work.

So, even though our doors are closing for now, there are still plenty of ways we will continue to serve our community.

Building and Planning Services

Planning Clinics are now being conducted over the phone or via email.
The times for the clinics remain unchanged as:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 9am to 11am
  • Thursday and Friday: 3pm to 5pm

This is for all enquiries regarding planning, including general advice.

Please call 6261 8500 to make a phone appointment. Alternatively, an email can be sent to dvcouncil@dvc.tas.gov.au seeking advice and information in relation to planning matters.

Please provide all relevant information including DA number (if relevant), questions or concerns and your best contact numbers and email address.

Building and Plumbing Inspections are being carried out using available technology to avoid the need to be physically present at inspections.

To arrange or enquire about an inspection, please call Council on 6261 8500.

Animal Management

Animal Management will continue as normal. To report a stray dog please call Council on 6261 8500.

Find out more about Animal Management at Council, including dog registration, keeping chickens and roosters and making a complaint.

Parks, Reserves and Playgrounds

Residents are able to exercise at their local national parks and reserves, including beaches located on reserved land, provided they are within 30km from your place of residence.

All parks, playgrounds and skate parks in the Derwent Valley are open for recreational use for groups of up to 10 people. Play and exercise equipment can be used, as long as physical distancing is maintained and hygiene practises followed.
BBQs remain closed at this time.

Please be aware that we are unable to clean or disinfect the equipment in the playgrounds and users are encouraged to practise hand hygiene and wipe equipment with sanitiser wipes before and after use.

Please make sure you are helping to protect yourself and others by:
🤚 Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between each other. If you are unable to do this then please do not enter the playground until it is safe.
🤧 Cough into your elbow or use a disposable tissue.
👏🏻 Practise hand hygiene before and after use
🏡 Please stay home if you are unwell.

Find out more.

Valley Children's Centre

The COVID-19 restrictions in place at the Valley Children's Centre remain unchanged.

This includes:

  • No parents allowed in individual rooms (Willow, Poppies etc)
  • Drop off at doorways
  • Just one person encouraged to enter childcare centre for pick up or drop off of children and not bring other children or family members with you, wherever possible.

Parents and caregivers will be notified when any of the restrictions in place change.

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Read the latest important community updates

Business and Community

COVID-19 info for businesses

Access the information you need on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), stay updated and learn how to safeguard your business.

Business Tas: COVID-19: Information for businesses

Employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and other people. This includes having measures in place to eliminate or manage the risks arising from COVID-19.

More information

Safe Workplaces Framework

All workplaces will be required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with minimum COVID-19 safety standards.

As workplaces reopen, they will need to demonstrate their compliance with the Minimum Standards.

Business are encouraged to register for COVID Ready window stickers and posters once their COVID-19 Safety Plan is developed and in place. This sticker or poster will provide the Tasmanian community with confidence that that workplace is best prepared to manage and respond to COVID-19.

Detailed information and resources are available at coronavirus.tas.gov.au

See the current business restrictions

Support

This is a challenging time for a lot of people, if you know of someone who is having a tough time, these contacts may come in handy.

  • Public Health Hotline – 1800 671 738
  • National Coronavirus Hotline – 1800 020 080
  • Education Hotline – 1800 816 057
  • Lifeline:  www.lifeline.org.au/ or call 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: www.beyondblue.org.au 1300 22 4636.
  • MensLine Australia MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Rural Alive and Well (RAW): 1300 4357 6283 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Safe at Home Family Violence Response and Referral Line: 1800 663 937
  • Hotline for older Australians 1800 171 866

Financial services and support

If your finances have been impacted by COVID-19 and you are experiencing financial difficulty it is important to get help as early as possible.

Each person’s circumstances are different, and the choices you make today may have long-term implications for your financial future.

For detailed information about services and support available, see https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/financial-services-and-support 

Family Violence Flexible Support Packages

Flexible Support Packages are designed to provide a holistic response to people experiencing family violence by assisting them to access supports when leaving an abusive relationship and will be administered by the Stay at Home Coordination Unit.

In combination with the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes program which funds property security upgrades like security screen doors and sensor lights, Flexible Support Packages of up to $3,000 will be available to purchase basic items like food, clothing, and some bills (utilities, phone), medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered by Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, relocation costs, furnishings and whitegoods to support stability and safety at home.

Applications need to be prepared by service providers working with the victim, and submitted to the Safe at Home Coordination Unit for consideration. As part of the application process, the service provider must undertake a family violence risk assessment and develop a safety plan with the victim.

Eligibility criteria

  • Victims leaving abusive relationships; and/or
  • Have recently experienced family violence; and/or
  • Are planning to leave an abusive relationship, and the perpetrator has been removed from the home as a result of a PFVO or FVO.

Priority will be given to:

  • Victims and children at high risk of experiencing family violence.
  • Victims experiencing significant financial hardship.

Flexible Support Packages are not accessible to victims who wish to continue their relationship with the perpetrator of the abuse.

For more information visit the Safe At Home website.

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing Program

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing is designed to quickly help vulnerable households experiencing family violence into safe and affordable homes.

This initiative supports the expansion of the Rapid Rehousing Program which provides supported housing options for families affected by family violence allowing them to access safe and affordable rental homes. Perpetrators can also access the program to enable victims/survivors to remain in their own home when it is safe to do so.

This will provide an additional 20 properties from the private rental market.

Family Violence Rapid Rehousing will be delivered in partnership between the Tasmanian Government (Housing Tasmania and the Department of Premier and Cabinet), registered Community Housing Providers and Housing Connect.

Eligibility criteria

  • Families and individuals who are leaving a violent relationship.
  • Perpetrators who need alternative housing so the family can remain in the family home can also be assisted. In general, perpetrators may have a police order or court order in place; however, discretion can be exercised to determine appropriate assistance within the program.
  • All applicants must be 16 years of age or over and be able to live independently. They must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for social housing, with the exception that there are no income or asset eligibility requirements for Family Violence Rapid Rehousing.

For further information on this initiative read the Fact Sheet on the Communities Tasmania website or contact Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.

Talking to children about COVID-19

This world is a little scary for us as adults at the moment so it must be very confusing and scary for our children. The Australia Childhood Foundation has created some resources to help you to connect and talk to your children about the current COVID 19 pandemic.

Staying Connected with our children
Talking to children

Hotline for older Australians

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, National Seniors Australia, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and Dementia Australia Have banded together the supported by the Commonwealth Government to a set up a new hotline to support older Australians.

The new COVID-19 hotline will help older Australians get the critical information they need to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic, providing an accessible one-stop source for personal support, questions and up-to-date guidelines. People can call 1800 171 866 to speak to friendly, specially trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation.

Update on Aged Care Facility restrictions

Grants available for local business and community organisations

Primary Health Tasmania teleconference grants

Primary Health Tasmania is offering small grants of up to $230 to support community groups in purchasing annual video conferencing subscriptions. This could be to
- continue regular activities online
- hold a special online activity, event, performance or guest speaker
- provide training to volunteers or members
- check in with people are isolated.

For more information or to apply: www.engagepht.com.au/community-access

Applications close on 30 June 2020. To be eligible, groups need to be:

  • Tasmanian-based, non-profit community group, club or organisation
  • have access to the internet
  • have an ABN or be auspiced by an organisation that has an ABN.

HydroTas COVID-19 Community Grants.

HydroTas are following up their annual Community Grant Program with a new series of COVID-19 community grants. They're offering grants of up to $10,000 to help community organisations that are dealing with the ongoing impacts on COVID-19.

Applications for these grants opened on Monday 25 May 2020 and close at 5pm Friday 5 June 2020.

All of the information is available on their website at www.hydro.com.au/community/community-grants/covid-19-community-grants.

Tas Community Fund

The Tasmanian Community Fund will be holding a Covid19 response round in July 2020 and will be calling for small, medium and large applications that support Tasmanians and Tasmanian organisations to recover and rebuild from Covid19.

The Support Connect and Rebuild Grant Round 41 opens in July. More info about these grants.

COVID-19 Business Support, Grants and Loans

The Tasmanian Government recognise the significant impact the unfolding COVID-19 situation and trading restrictions are having on Tasmanian small businesses. The Tasmanian Government is providing a substantial stimulus package to support Tasmania as we tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government have range of Stimulus and Support packages available

Support for Businesses and Industries
Support for Households
Support for Community

Immediate support is available to those businesses that meet the eligibility criteria and who did not receive a Small Business Emergency Support Grant round one.

Grants, loans and business support that will be administered through Department of State Growth are found here. When application details become available, a link to the guidelines and application form will be provided below. You can also sign up to our newsletter to be updated as soon as things become available.

For any support offered by the Australian Government, please visit www.business.gov.au