COVID-19 UPDATES FOR THE CITY OF ALBANY COMMUNITY

The City of Albany are working with the Department of Health to provide accurate updates on the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) health issue based on the latest information from the Federal and State health departments.

It is important during this time that you continue to keep updated through the WA Department of Health and follow the public gathering and social distancing rules implemented for everyone’s safety.

Message from the Mayor

Mayor Of Albany Dennis Wellington

8th of April, 2020


This Easter is going to be more difficult than most.

It is a time when we would normally get together with family and friends. It is also a time that Albany and other south coast towns get an influx of visitors that boosts our economy.

That won’t be happening this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the intrastate travel and public gathering restrictions in place. It’s disappointing but our community’s public health and safety must come first.

Our nature-based campgrounds are usually popular over the Easter long-weekend, but they will be closed this year. If you were planning a trip to Albany to camp this Easter, please don’t come. Stay home.

Our rangers will be patrolling the City’s campsites and general visitors and campers without permits will be asked to leave. Camping permits have already been issued to people with no fixed address, backpackers or travellers from overseas or interstate who can’t return home or find other accommodation.

I’d encourage you to start planning next year’s visit to amazing Albany, because we will welcome you back when this is over.

Beaches, parks and reserves will remain open to locals to ensure our community can exercise and get some fresh air to support their wellbeing. Please observe the public gathering and social distancing rules in these areas for your own safety. If these rules are not followed then we may have to restrict access to specific sites at short notice.

This is not an easy time for any of us, and I would like to thank our community for the part it is playing in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

I’m proud of our people and the way our community is respecting and following the advice from the State and Federal Governments. I’m also proud of the support our community is giving each other. We are all finding ways to cope, to keep businesses operating, to help a friend or neighbour who is isolated or vulnerable.

Albany’s community spirit is strong and always shines through when needed most, and that is now.

I wish you all a happy Easter, and hope you can all find new and safe ways to enjoy this special holiday and still connect with your loved ones and friends. Together we will slow the spread of this virus so things can go back to normal soon.

Dennis Wellington
Mayor, City of Albany

WA COVID-19 cases

For a map and statistics of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Western Australia, including in the Great Southern region, visit:

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-statistics

You can also follow the Department of Health’s daily media statements on COVID-19 in WA here:

https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/News/Media-releases-listing-page

Latest Updates and Department of Health Information

For the latest updates from the State Government in relation to COVID-19 including a daily snapshot, please visit their website. 

We do recommend keeping up to date on the Coronavirus through the Australian Government's Department of Health, and the World Health Organisation ‘Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public’.

Members of the public are also encouraged to go to the following online resources for up to date information:

#albanyinthistogether

#albanyinthistogether

Social Distancing

Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person to person, when we come into close contact with one another.

We can all help stop the spread by keeping our distance, including at parks, beaches and shopping centres.

Get more information on social distancing from the Australian Department of Health.Community members are reminded that no more than two people are to gather in public places unless from the same household.

People aged over 70 should stay at home to self-isolate and limit contact with others as much as possible. This also applies to people over 60 with chronic illness and Indigenous Australians over 50.

Social Distancing Explained

Rates and Fees

Freezing rates is one way Council can provide financial assistance to its community and it is planning for a 0% increase in all rates, fees and charges in its 2020-2021 Budget.

Council has also delegated authority to the Chief Executive Officer to defer, discount and or suspend fees, charges and licensing or leasing fees.

This will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

These delegations are already in place for rates and our staff will work with anyone experiencing hardship to make arrangements around their rates.

Council will prioritise considering more measures that assist the community in this time of hardship and will announce those as these key decisions are made.

Screening

Pioneer Health are operating a drive-through screening clinic Monday to Friday from 9am to 12 noon.

The clinic is safely assessing patients with recent cases of flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches and muscle aches).

The clinic can also test for COVID-19 but ONLY for patients that meet current Health Department guidelines.

You do not need to be a patient of Pioneer Health to attend the clinic – new patients are welcome and the clinic is 100% bulk-billed (no cost to patients).

The clinic is located at the far end of Pioneer Health Carpark.

Public Facilities

Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre (ALAC) Vancouver Arts Centre (VAC), Albany Public Library, Fossickers Tip Shop, Albany Visitor Centre, National Anzac Centre, Forts Store and other public buildings within Princess Royal Fortress are closed to the public until further notice, to reduce risk to public health and safety and ensure compliance with new social distancing measures announced by the Prime Minister.

Albany Regional Day Care and Albany Airport remain open for now, but staff will be managing numbers within those buildings.

Cash payments

Our customer service staff have also ceased taking cash payments in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Please plan to make any in-person payments using a card, or payments can be made online via albany.wa.gov.au

Playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor gym

All playgrounds, skate parks and the outdoor gym at Emu Point are closed until further notice as directed by the Federal Government. Metal dust has been placed on skate park areas to prevent use. While playgrounds are closed, the City is taking the opportunity to progress stage 2 works at the Eyre Park All Abilities Play Space for when the playground is able to reopen. Other playgrounds that are due for upgrades will also be removed ready for replacement in future.

Public toilets

The majority of our public toilets have been closed until further notice. Due to a lack of supplies and recent vandalism and theft, the City is unable to continue servicing many of its public toilets at this time. The City is maintaining servicing at the public toilets at Albany Surf Lifesaving Club, Women’s Rest Centre, Changing Places and Swarbrick Street at Emu Point, but they will continue to be locked overnight. Toilets at City-managed campsites will remain open and cleaned but won’t be stocked.

Campsites

City-managed nature-based campgrounds are closed to general visitors and campers without permits until further notice. Camping permits have already been issued to people with no fixed address, backpackers or travellers from overseas or interstate who are unable to return home or cannot find alternative accommodation. Rangers will be patrolling the City’s campsites regularly and asking anyone without a permit to leave the area.

Waste stations

  • Bakers Junction is closed until further notice
  • Fossicker’s Tip Shop is closed until further notice – this means no general household item recycling (furniture, clothes etc)
  • Hazardous household waste (chemicals / oils/batteries / paint etc), e-waste and excess household recycling can still be dropped off free to the station at Fossicker’s Tip Shop
  • Hanrahan Road Waste Facility is open to receive your waste. We are accepting all waste as normal-residential and commercial.
  • Transfer stations at Kronkup, Redmond, South Stirling, Manypeaks and Wellstead are still open to receive rural ratepayer waste using your tip pass. Please note opening and closing times below and also at www.albany.wa.gov.au
  • Excess green waste from your garden can be taken to Soil Solutions at John Street for $19/cubic metre or for free with the green waste pass that came with your annual rates notice
  • Bakers Junction Waste Facility is closed until further notice as the City continues to review and consolidate its operations to ensure essential services can continue.
  • The Hanrahan Waste Facility is still open and residents are encouraged to take their waste to this facility as an alternative.

Visit www.albany.wa.gov.au for more information on waste services.

HANRAHAN ROAD WASTE FACILITY
Monday – Sunday 8:30am to 4:15pm

KRONKUP TRANSFER STATION
Wednesday 8:00am to 4:00pm
Friday 7:00am to 11:00am
Saturday 12:30pm to 4:30pm
Sunday 12:30pm to 4:30pm

REDMOND TRANSFER STATION
Monday 12:30pm to 4:30pm
Wednesday 7:30am to 11:30am
Saturday 12:30am to 4:30pm

MANYPEAKS TRANSFER STATION
Tuesday 7:30am to 11:30am
Thursday 7:30am to 11:30am
Sunday 7:30am to 11:30am

SOUTH STIRLING TRANSFER STATION
Thursday 12:30pm to 4:30pm
Saturday 7:30am to 11:30am

WELLSTEAD TRANSFER STATION

Monday 7:30am to 11:30am
Wednesday 12:30pm to 4:30pm
Saturday 12:30pm to 4:30pm

ALL WASTE FACILITIES ARE CLOSED ON GOOD FRIDAY AND CHRISTMAS DAY. 

Bulk Hard and Green Waste Verge Collections

The City’s upcoming Bulk Hard and Green Waste Verge Collections are postponed until further notice. We will notify residents of new collection dates as soon as it is safe and practical to reschedule the service. 

Household Bin Collections 

The City is still collecting household kerbside bins as normal. Please continue to put your bin out for collection by 6am on your collection day.

We are still collecting:

  • household waste bins weekly
  • recycling bins fortnightly
  • green waste bins monthly.

Report It

The doors might be shut but the City are still here for you around the clock.

Potholes, abandoned rubbish or public property damage - you can let us know through the Report It function on our website and on the app!

We are available to service our community 24/7.

During business hours please ring us on 6820 3000.  If the call is after-hours please ring 1800 633 000 and chat to one of our friendly customer service representatives.

National Parks

Over the Easter long weekend and school holidays, locals should stay at home and not go camping.

National parks remain open at this time, aside from some sites within parks that would normally receive high numbers of visitors. However, visitors must abide by the intrastate travel restrictions.

National parks remain open to the community to ensure that people can exercise and get some fresh air to support their wellbeing.

Some attractions and experiences within parks and reserves where there is normally significant visitor interaction and shared facilities, have been closed.

Camping exemptions are for people with no fixed address, backpackers or travellers from overseas or interstate who are unable to return home or cannot find alternative accommodation.

People are urged to observe the State Government’s intrastate travel restrictions and observe social distancing rules when in a national park, regional park or reserves.

Visitors are encouraged to follow official government restrictions for their own safety.  Members of the public are reminded that this is an evolving situation and travel, site-specific and other restrictions may be further introduced at short notice.

DBCA staff and rangers will be on duty over the long weekend, like all other weekends and long weekends.

The WA Police Force will take appropriate enforcement action against individuals and businesses who do not comply with directives relating to self-isolating, gatherings and social distancing.


Beaches, Parks and Reserves 

City-managed beaches, parks and reserves remain open to the community to ensure that people can exercise and get some fresh air to support their wellbeing.

However, campgrounds within these areas are closed to anyone who does not have a permit.

People are urged to observe the State Government’s intrastate travel restrictions and observe social distancing rules when visiting a beach, park or reserve.

Visitors are encouraged to follow official government restrictions for their own safety. If members of the public do not follow these restrictions, site-specific restrictions may be introduced at short notice.

Rangers will be patrolling City-managed spaces, and WA Police will take appropriate enforcement action against individuals who do not comply with directives relating to self-isolating, public gatherings and social distancing.

Travel

Regional

Restrictions have been placed on travel within the entire State of Western Australia.

Western Australians are not be permitted to leave their regional boundary.

Police have the power to enforce these restrictions if necessary, and fines of up to $50,000 can be issued.

Exemptions will apply for, among other things, essential services and workers, including health and emergency services; people living in ‘border communities’, who may not have access to groceries or supplies within their region; employment purposes; medical reasons; transport of essential goods and some compassionate grounds.

If you were planning a trip - you cannot go.

Don't cancel your bookings with our regional hotels, tours or other providers - postpone them instead.

This won't last forever, let's do what we can to make sure those businesses are still there once it is over.

For more information visit https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-regional-travel-restrictions

Domestic

You will no longer be able to enter Western Australia unless an exemption has been granted.

You can see if you meet the criteria for an exemption here.

To apply you will need to complete a Request for Approval as an Exempt Traveller form here.

Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.

For up to date information on travel restrictions and advice, visit: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

International

For up to date information on travel restrictions and advice, visit: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

Regional Express and Virgin Flights

Regional Express (Rex) continues to operate flights from Albany on a reduced schedule.

To stay up-to-date with the Albany flight schedule and check what flights are available, visit the Rex website

Virgin continues to operate closed charter flights for FIFO works. Please stay in touch with your employer regarding the availability of these flights.

Cruise Ship Information

The City of Albany is not responsible for cruise ship visits to Albany.

Cruise ship movements come under the management of Southern Ports Authority.

The Premier has authorised the Police Commissioner to stop any non-Australians who arrive at WA ports, from disembarking the ship. Those people will be required to stay on the ship, until arrangements have been made for them to be privately transported to the airport to fly to their home country.

Southern Ports has advised the City that all Cruise Ships that were due to dock in Albany throughout March 2020 have been cancelled and they will be releasing updates as they come to hand. 

City of Albany Events Information

Many regional and community events have been cancelled due to the current restrictions on mass gatherings imposed by the Federal Government in response to COVID-19.

The cancellation of events is unfortunate but a necessary step to protect the health and safety of people in our community, and visitors.

If you’re unsure whether an event is going ahead or not, please contact the event organiser.

Please visit www.health.gov.au for more information on restrictions to public gatherings.

Department of Social Services and COVID-19

The Department of Social Services is supporting individuals and families affected by COVID-19 through a range of measures.

  • One-Off Economic Support Payment
  • Isolation Related Temporary Exemptions From Mutual Obligations
  • Payments
  • Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/covid-19-information-and-support

Coronavirus Australia App

Make sure you're getting the latest information on COVID-19 by downloading the Australian Government Coronavirus app - available on Google Play and Apple App stores

Don't have a smart device? Visit www.health.gov.au or www.healthywa.gov.au to get the latest advice.

Need mental health info or support? Go to headtohealth.gov.au for info, services and advice, online or over the phone. If you need urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Important ways to reduce your risk

Everyone must practice good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.

Good hygiene includes

  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Disposing of tissues properly.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after going to the toilet.
  • Using alcohol-based sanitisers.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • If you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people.
  • Cleaning and sanitising frequently used objects such as mobiles, keys and wallets.

To read more about protective measures against coronavirus, visit the World Health Organisation website at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

reduce your risk

Business Operations and COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a substantial impact on the day to day operations of businesses as well as operations beyond the immediate timeframe. 

COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan

Learn about the positive steps you can take to keep your business operating and where to go for help.

More information is available by clicking here.

COVID-19 Stimulus Package for Small Business: Small Business Development Corporation

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Government announced a $17.8 billion targeted stimulus package to support the Australian economy through the challenges. 

The package is designed to keep small businesses afloat and employees in work, and will focus on supporting the most impacted sectors. The Government has stated that the measures are temporary, targeted and scalable. 

The main areas of support relevant to small businesses are:

  • Cash flow payment of up to $25,000 for employers 
  • 50 percent wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees 
  • Increase in the instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000
  • 50 percent accelerated depreciation for investments

A second stimulus package was announced 22 March 2020, which includes an increase to cash flow assistance for businesses. 

More information is available by clicking here.

JobKeeper Payment - Information for Employers

The JobKeeper payment is intended to provide wage subsidies to businesses that are significantly affected by COVID-19.

JobKeeper Payment - Information for Employees

COVID-19 Information and Support for Business: Business.gov.au

Updated information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian Businesses is available by clicking the link below.

Coronavirus information and support for business.

Government Support for the Tourism Industry: Tourism Australia

Australian, State and Territory governments provide a range of support and relief assistance for tourism businesses.

Assistance and support for the tourism industry is available by clicking here.

Government Economic Response to Coronavirus: Australian Government Treasury

The Federal Government is acting decisively in the national interest to support households and businesses, and address the significant economic consequences of COVID-19. 

The Government's economic response targets three areas:

  • Support for individuals and households 
  • Support for business 
  • Support the flow of credit 

For up to date information on the Australian Government's economic response to Coronavirus please click here.

Coronavirus Information: Tourism Australia

Available by clicking here.

COVID-19 Special update: Tourism Council Western Australia website

Available by clicking here. 

COVID-19 Employer Guide: Managing the workplace in the fact of the outbreak: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Available by clicking here.

Practical Advice and Assistance for Business: Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry website contains a key issue sheet, a working from home checklist and business continuity plans.

Access the documents by clicking here.

If you have questions about COVID-19 you can contact your state public health agency or the national virus hotline: 

  • Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
  • WA - 08 9328 0553

Federal Government links

The below information is available on the Australian Government business website:

More information on the Australian government’s response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 can be found at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/business-investment.

State Government links

The below information is available on the Government of Western Australia's website:

Business or industry communications from State Government