Latest on Inner West Council Coronavirus response

Updated 2 April 2020

The COVID-19 coronavirus situation is changing rapidly. We will keep you updated below as changes occur.

For health information visit NSW Health or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 if you have symptoms.

The 2 April update relates to:

Childcare services  

On 2 April the Australian Government announced changes to childcare commencing Monday 6 April.

For details of the announcement visit: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Council has no further information at this stage other than what has been publicly released.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer has written to the Federal Minister for Education seeking clarification.

We will provide a further update to families as soon as possible.

Aquatic centres

  • Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre, Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre are all now closed until further notice.
  • The Steel Park Waterplay Park is closed until further notice.

Business support

Council recognises that small businesses are the backbone of the Inner West economy and community.

Council is determined to support small businesses during this difficult time as they struggle to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Council's has developed comprehensive measures of support for local business.

Evictions moratorium

National Cabinet has agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.  Read the Cabinet statement - 29 March here

Rates relief for property owners

Businesses suffering financial hardship are urged to apply to Council for rates relief, such as tailored payment plans.

To apply, please email Council’s Chief Executive Officer: michael.deegan@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

Council is proposing a three-tier framework in order to assess the requests for rates relief:

  • Category 1:  The business is unable to trade as a result of a Council, State Government or Federal Government enforced closure relating to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak
  • Category 2: Clear evidence that the business is adversely affected by the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak
  • Category 3: There is negligible impact

Promoting local food businesses

Council has established a list of food businesses that are open for takeaway or delivery, and a social media campaign encouraging residents to support their local restaurants and cafes.

Food businesses are encouraged to submit their listing.

Rent relief for Council tenants

Council is already in contact with its tenants, to ascertain if they are suffering financial hardship and to discuss their individual circumstances.

Fee waivers

Council is currently exploring a package of fee waivers for small businesses that may be seeking development approvals or permits. More information to come.

Parking enforcement

Council’s parking officers will prioritise public safety issues over other enforcement activity until further notice.

Actions Council already has in place to support small business

  • Main Street parking meters in Leichhardt, Rozelle and Balmain shopping strips turned off after 7pm to help the night-time economy
  • Abolishing outdoor dining fees, saving local businesses $1.5 million over three years
  • Holding regular business forums, events, workshops and mentoring programs

Childcare services

Childcare services remains open as for many people childcare remains a necessity.

On 2 April the Australian Government announced changes to childcare commencing Monday 6 April.  For details of the announcement visit: Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Council has no further information at this stage other than what has been publicly released.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer has written to the Federal Minister for Education seeking clarification.
We will provide a further update to families as soon as possible.

Council has taken the following measures to assist:

  • A temporary change to our termination of care notice period from 20 working days to 10 working days (Not applicable to Family Day Care)

In addition, this week the Australian Government has introduced measures to help families, and education and care services manage the impact of the COVID-19 situation:

  • The number of days that a child is allowed to be absent (without the need for evidence, like a medical certificate) and not lose the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) has increased from 42 to 62, More details at the Department of Education Childcare FAQs 
  • If additional absences are required for COVID-19 related reasons, medical evidence will not be required however Council must be notified in writing 

Please note that for continued access to the CCS, fees are still payable.

The Australian Government also provides additional assistance and support in cases of financial hardship through the Additional Child Care Subsidy

Balmain-Rozelle Occasional Care Centre remains closed. 

Enquiries:

childcareconcerns@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

Community language translations

A range of state and federal departments and organisations have translated vital information about how to stay safe in times of COVID-19 in community languages. Please note that not all sites have translated information into all languages.

Community support services

Inner West Council staff recognise how important it is to continue to connect with community groups and other not-for-profits and NGOs in the area, to work with these groups so we can better support our vulnerable community members during this difficult period.

We have collated a list or helpful places to find information and support services.  

Find further information and support service details

Customer service

All Council face to face customer service has now ceased.

Please lodge a request online, anywhere, anytime, from any type of device.

To speak with a Customer Service Officer, please call 02 9392 5000.

Events, meetings and gatherings

We urge residents to follow the current NSW Public Health order on gatherings and movements and guidelines on social distancing.

  • NAIDOC Week 2020 (5 to 12 July) has been postponed until later in the year on advice from the Nationl NAIDOC committee.
  • ANZAC Day services in the Inner West have been cancelled on advice from the of NSW Returned Services League and NSW Government.
  • Next council meeting has been cancelled
  • Council events are cancelled immediately until further notice
  • Library activities are cancelled until further notice
  • Environment workshops are cancelled until further notice
  • Aquatics classes and programs are suspended until further notice, including Squads, Group Fitness and Learn to Swim.
  • Magic Yellow Bus service has been cancelled until further notice
  • Community Wellbeing programs and activities are cancelled until further notice
  • Seniors Active and Connected programs are cancelled until further notice

General information

Council’s coronavirus response plan is to slow the spread of coronavirus within the Council workforce and within the Inner West community and protect essential services such as waste collection and customer service.

There may be some unavoidable service delays and disruptions which Council will work hard to minimise.

Service NSW Hotline

Service NSW has a 24 hour / seven day a week hotline on 13 77 88. Service NSW staff can follow up about specific concerns for community members and business operators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as well as give general information. 

Customer service changes

All Council face to face customer service has now ceased.

Please lodge a request online, anywhere, anytime, from any type of device.

To speak with a Customer Service Officer, please call 9392 5000. 

Health and hygiene

Extra cleaning and hygiene measures have been put in place at all Council facilities.

Incident Management Team

Council has established an Incident Management Team to oversee how the COVID-19 response is organised.

Grants program

The grants program has been postponed to 1 October subject to further notice.

Libraries 

  • All Council libraries have closed: Ashfield, Balmain, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Emanuel Tsardoulias Community Library (Dulwich Hill), Haberfield, Stanmore, St Peters.
  • All library members still have access to online membership and borrowing including access to books, audio books, movies, e-learning and magazines.
  • No fines will be applied until further notice. 
  • Home Library service have been suspended until further notice.

Noise complaints

Council is experiencing an increase in the number of requests received from the community relating to construction works and routine activities (lawn mowing, music, playing instruments etc). 

Whilst we appreciate that a larger number of people are currently working from home and may be unfamiliar with the level of intrusion that works and routine activities can generate, it doesn’t alter the controls in place being either legislative or via an existing approval. As such Council is limited in its ability to respond to these requests where these controls exist.  Find details on Noise and what is permissible 

Parking

  • Council’s parking officers will prioritise public safety issues over other enforcement activity until further notice.

Public spaces

We urge residents to follow the current NSW Public Health order on gatherings and movements and guidelines on social distancing.

  • All Inner West playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places have now closed, in line with advice from the Australian Government.
  • Inner West parks are still open.
  • Bootcamps have been reduced to two persons, including the trainer.
  • Basketball courts and tennis courts remain open and social distancing rules apply. Maximum two people per court.
  • Dog Parks are also still open and people are reminded to maintain social distancing .
  • The Iron Cove Bay run is also still open with social distancing rules.

Pets and animals 

  • Members of the community can leave their house for exercise including walking the dog.  Please remember:
    - By law dogs must be on a leash in all public places, unless within a designated dog off leash exercise areas
    - If you go out, stay 1.5 metres away from other people at all times
    - Wash your hands as soon as you get home 
  • At this stage, there is also no evidence that pets can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, wash your hands after being around animals. Visit the NSW Health website to stay up to date 
  • There is also currently no evidence that bats (or any other animals) carry the COVID-19 virus in Australia. However, Australian bats can carry other serious infections, such as Australian bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus so they are best avoided. Visit the NSW Health website to stay up to date 

 

Venues and community centres

Use of all Council facilities has been suspended until at least Sunday 5 April.

This includes all Council programs, workshops and meetings in addition to private hire and community group activities at the following venues:

Town halls

  • Ashfield Town Hall
  • Balmain Town Hall and Meeting Room
  • Leichhardt Town Hall
  • Marrickville Town Hall
  • Petersham Town Hall
  • St Peters Town Hall

Community centres

  • Annandale Community Centre
  • Hannaford Community Centre
  • Jimmy Little Community Centre
  • Tom Foster Community Centre

Rooms and small halls

  • Ashfield Civic Centre Activity Rooms
  • Clontarf Cottage
  • Herb Greedy Hall
  • Leichhardt MarketPlace Community Room
  • Marrickville Pavilion and Learning Rooms
  • Mervyn Fletcher Hall
  • Michael Maher Room
  • Seaview Street Hall
  • Whites Creek Cottage and Stables
  • Yanada Room

Our Bookings Team remain available for information and advice via email bookingsteam@innerwest.nsw.gov.au or call Brian Chadwell on 9392 5219 or Ilce Kostrevski on 9392 5775.

Waste and recycling

  • Red, green, blue and yellow bin collections continue. Please check your collection day here 
  • Weekend transfer station, Leichhardt closed
  • Community recycling centres, Leichhardt and St Peters closed
  • Current pre booked Council clean up services will be collected. 
    Future Council clean up bookings are closed.
    Normal services will recommence as soon as possible

Volunteering

If you would like to assist our local community during the COVID-19 situation please make contact with the following organisations requiring volunteers:

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Page last updated: 02 Apr 2020