Covid-19 Information and Updates - Updated 29 September

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 will reopen to the public from 10am - 4pm from Monday 24 August for essential visits only.

Council operating hours are still 8.15am – 5pm (Mon - Fri) and Council services can be accessed over the phone, by email or via our website. We encourage all enquiries by phone or email where possible.

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. Practise 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 the Derwent Valley Council Offices are open from 10:00am - 4:00pm, for essential in-person services only.

Max 4 people at a time | Keep 1.5m between. We encourage all enquiries by phone or email where possible.

Phone 6261 8500, email dvcouncil@dvc.tas.gov.au or complete our Customer Feedback Form

  • Pay your rates via BPAY, over the phone, drop your completed deposit slip into the mail slot with your cash or cheque for payment or pay at Commonwealth Bank
  • View Development Applications on our website under Public Notices.
  • Make an appointment to talk to Council’s Planner or Environmental Health Officer.

The health and safety of our community and staff is a priority. We appreciate your cooperation and apologise for any inconvenience.

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

Tasmanians can travel anywhere in the state and visit national parks. Visit www.parks.tas.gov.au to check park is open (some under maintenance)

Camping, overnight boating and shacks are now open with no restrictions. Overnight stays are allowed.

All parks, playgrounds and skate parks in the Derwent Valley are open for recreational use. Play and exercise equipment can be used, as long as physical distancing is maintained and hygiene practises followed.

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.

Other Services

Public halls and other Council spaces are available for hire/use within Public Health Guidelines. A COVID-19 safety plan or checklist must be completed as part of the booking process, and density limits of 1 person per 2 square metres apply.

Special Committees of Council can resume activities within Public Health guidelines. A COVID-19 safety plan or checklist must first be provided to Council.

Visitor Information Centre and Historic Information Centre remain closed to the public until further notice.

Vulnerable people are encouraged to stay home and protect their health.

Valley Children's Centre

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

This includes:

  • Children who present unwell (runny nose) should be kept home and will not be accepted into care
  • Children who are sent home with runny nose need to have a medical certificate to return
  • All parents and children are required to sanitise their hands before entering the centre
  • No parents allowed in individual rooms (Willow, Poppies, Wisteria or Snap Dragons) Please collect and drop children off at the individual room doorways
  • We encourage just one person to enter childcare centre for pick up or drop off of children and not bring other children or family members with you, wherever possible
  • New families are having orientation visit and meeting staff from the office (Director)
  • Physical distancing to be followed by staff and parents within the centre
  • No face to face Admin services

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

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Read the latest important community updates

Grants available for local business and community organisations

The COVID-19 Sport and Recreation Grants Program Tranche 2 is now open.

This program is open to Tasmanian sport and recreation clubs. Funding of up to $3 000 per organisation is available to assist ensure a safe return to play under the organisation’s COVID-19 Safety or Return to Play plan. Funding will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

To be eligible clubs must be affiliated to a State/National Sporting Organisation recognised by Sport Australia or affiliated to an organisation funded as a State Active Recreation Provider (SARP) under Communities, Sport and Recreation’s State Sport and Recreation Grants Program.

Eligible projects include the purchase of equipment or supplies necessary to ensure a safe return to play under the organisation’s COVID-19 safety or Return to Play plan.
Examples of such equipment can include, but is not limited to:

  • hygiene supplies such as hand sanitiser, soap, and disinfectant;
  • additional equipment to comply with safety measures such as thermometers and face masks;
  • additional protective equipment for players to avoid the need to share equipment;
  • additional equipment for training to meet hygiene requirements e.g. balls, training bibs, cones;
  • additional game day equipment to meet hygiene requirements; and
  • printing of additional signage regarding COVID-19 safety.

Under this program organisations are eligible to apply for reimbursement of eligible items purchased on or after 8 May 2020.

The program guidelines and application form can be found here. For further information please contact Communities, Sport and Recreation on 1800 252 476

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

Business and Community

Small Business Continuity Grant Round 2

The Tasmanian Government has announced a further $2 million to help small businesses plan for recovery from the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

The second round of the COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Grant program will provide $750 each to eligible businesses to engage a qualified specialist to advise on business continuity planning.

Applications will be assessed on applicant and project expenditure eligibility, and evidence provided in support of the application.

The program closes at 12 noon on Friday 2 October 2020 or when the funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

For more information and to apply visit Business Tasmania website or call 1800 440 026.

Business Growth Loan Scheme

The Tasmanian Government has announced a $60 million Business Growth Loan Scheme.

The scheme provides businesses with concessional loan funding to adapt and transition to sustainable post-COVID operating models.

Loans from $20,000 to $3 million are available for eligible businesses and new projects. The scheme is open for 12 months or until all funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.

For more information visit the Business Tasmania website or call 1800 440 026.

COVID-19 Small Business Energy Support Grant Program

One off grant payments of $1,000 are available to eligible businesses who have not been eligible for the COVID-19 electricity, water and/or sewerage wavier available from service providers from 1 April 2020.

The COVID-19 Small Business Energy Support Grant Program will open for applications at 12 noon on 31 August 2020 and remain open until 12 noon on 26 October 2020.

Go to the Business Tasmania website for more information and to apply.

Business Vehicle Registration Relief Package

Registration freeze for light and heavy vehicles

Small businesses looking to suspend activity due to the COVID-19 business downturn and trading restrictions can apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to freeze their business vehicle registrations for both light and heavy vehicles.

Registrations can be reactivated at no cost to them when the business restarts. The maximum period that a registration can be frozen is 12 months.

Heavy vehicle registration and motor tax waivers

For heavy vehicles of over 4.5 tonnes the Government will waive fees for registration and the road component of motor tax for 12 months.

Operators will still need to pay the regulatory component of motor tax which goes to fund the operations of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Applications

Significantly impacted business owners can apply for the Registration freeze for light and heavy vehicles or the Heavy vehicle registration and motor tax waivers. Apply using the Transport Tasmania's Registration Business Support Package form.

You will need to provide details on your business registered for tax purposes in Australia and your Australian Business Number (ABN) and make a declaration that your business activities have been ceased or suspended.

Approval will be at the discretion of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Local Government Loans Program

The Local Government Loans Program has been developed to assist local governments to invest and employ more staff to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve existing local government infrastructure.

See the Department of Treasury and Finance website for more information.

Rapid Response Skills Initiative

The Rapid Response Skills Initiative (RRSI) provides up to $3000 towards the cost of training for people who have lost their jobs because they have been made redundant, the place they worked has closed, or the employer had to let staff go.

See the Skills Tasmania website for more information.

Enterprise Centres Tasmania

Free advice and support is available from Enterprise Centres Tasmania a state-wide network of independent business advisors. To access this assistance contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 or ask@business.tas.gov.au.

For more information about specific support available visit the Business Tasmania website.

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 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