Latest on Inner West Council coronavirus response

Updated 19 May 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.

Talk to someone in your language

The 19 May update relates to:

Good neighbour postcard 

Council has created a Good neighbour postcard that residents can use to check in with neighbours to offer assistance to those more vulnerable during COVID-19.

Th post cards will be distributed to people's mail boxes in the coming week for people who cannot access online services. 

You can download and print the postcard here:

Good neighbour postcard  (PDF 237.1KB)

 

Find further details about Council's COVID-19 response below.

Aquatic centres

Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre

Inner West Council reopened Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre on Monday 18 May, in line with advice from NSW Health.

The Dive Pool and 50m pool are open 5.30am to 8pm and standard weekend hours, limited to 10 people per pool, and single person to a lane.

Bookings are essential.

Recommended social distancing is to be practiced at all times.

To achieve this, patrons will enter the water at alternating ends. As well, change rooms are closed until further notice.

At this stage other measures include:

  • Closures at 12pm to 1pm for cleaning regime
  • All visitors are limited to three visits per week, and each visit limited to 45 minutes
  • Café services will be open

For full details of opening hours and operations, and to book go to www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/LPAC

Other facilities

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

Arts support

Council’s Creative and Cultural Resilience Grants Program is now open and accepting applications until 17 May 2020.

The program offers $300,000 in new grant funding to support the Inner West’s creative and cultural sector through the impacts of COVID19.

Find out more including how to apply at the Creative and Cultural Resilience Grants webpage

Council is also extending the acquittal dates of its current Arts and Culture Grants and Live Music Grants to 31 December 2020.

Council has created a support page for the local arts and cultural sector, which lists relevant grants, information and resources, including mental health support.

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

Ratepayers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may apply to defer payment of rates. 

Find further details on our Rates relief webpage

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 have been prioritising public safety over other enforcement activity during the past lockdown period.
From next week, 25 May, Council will recommence patrols of all areas. Infringements will be limited to warning notices only.
From 1 June, full patrols and penalty notices will recommence.
Fines continue to apply to safety-related infringements.

Quick links from Business.gov.au 

Find a range of measures available to small and medium businesses at the links below. 

Call the Business.gov.au support line 13 28 446 for more information.

Quick links from NSW State Government

The NSW State Government has a range of measures to support local business

Call Service NSW 13 77 88 for further information

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

Council offers a free interpreter service. Talk to someone in your language

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

Construction industry support

Construction sites can now operate on weekends and public holidays under new rules introduced by the NSW Government on 2 April to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The decision allows workers to abide by social distancing rules while keeping construction projects progressing by allowing building work to be spread across more days of the week.  The change intends to support the construction and development industries, which make up almost 10% of the NSW economy. 

Council can now only investigate weekend and public holiday construction complaints if they fall outside the usual weekday construction site operating hours.

Find more information  at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website

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.

  • ANZAC Day services in the Inner West have been cancelled on advice from the of NSW Returned Services League and NSW Government.
  • Council meetings resumed on Tuesday, 7 April and start at 6.30pm. The meetings will be held remotely via Zoom meetings and will be livestreamed on Council’s website. You can watch them here
  • NAIDOC Week 2020 (5 to 12 July) has been postponed until later in the year on advice from the Nationl NAIDOC committee.
  • 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.

Good neighbour postcard

Council has created a Good neighbour postcard that residents can use to check in with neighbours to offer assistance to those more vulnerable during COVID-19.

Th post cards will be distributed to people's mail boxes in the coming week for people who cannot access online services.

You can download and print the postcard here:

Good neighbour postcard  (PDF 237.1KB) 

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.

Spitting and Coughing Order

Council staff, including rangers, are among those now protected under the Public Health (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Order 2020 which incurs $5000 on-the-spot fines for anyone coughing or spitting on workers at their place of work or travelling to or from work.

The order also includes health workers, police, pharmacists, paramedics, or other public officials and commenced on 20 April 2020. 

Members of the public can report anyone not complying with Public Health Orders to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000.

Grants program

Creative and cultural resilience grants 

Council’s Creative and Cultural Resilience Grants Program is now open and accepting applications until 17 May 2020.

The program offers $300,000 in new grant funding to support the Inner West’s creative and cultural sector through the impacts of COVID19.

Find out more including how to apply at the Creative and Cultural Resilience Grants webpage

Council is also extending the acquittal dates of its current Arts and Culture Grants and Live Music Grants to 31 December 2020.

Council has created a support page for the local arts and cultural sector, which lists relevant grants, information and resources, including mental health support.

Sydney Water community group grants

Sydney Water is offering over $80,000 in grants to community groups.

Grassroots community groups, including schools, can now apply for Sydney Water’s Community Grants Program, with over $80,000 up for grabs.

The program provides grants of up to $4,000 to organisations supporting their local community through digital innovation, embracing diversity at a grassroots level and protecting our environment. 

Applications close Friday 29 May, with recipients announced in late July. 

For more information including terms and conditions, FAQs and to apply visit  the Sydney Water website 

Find further details about Council's COVID-19 response below.

 

JP Services

Due to libraries and customer service centres being closed, Council's JP services are currently suspended.

Find registered JPs and their contact details in your suburb at the NSW Communities and Justice website 

Some local chemists also offer this service.

Libraries 

  • Council has launched its Click and collect service which allows members to reserve and collect books, magazines and DVDs from all eight Inner West Libraries and then collect these from one of the branches.
  • 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 is now available

Noise complaints

Construction sites can now operate on weekends and public holidays under new rules introduced by the NSW Government on 2 April to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The decision allows workers to abide by social distancing rules while keeping construction projects progressing by allowing building work to be spread across more days of the week.  The change intends to support the construction and development industries, which make up almost 10% of the NSW economy.

Council can now only investigate weekend and public holiday construction complaints if they fall outside the usual weekday construction site operating hours.

Find more information on this change at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website

Council has been 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 have been prioritising public safety over other enforcement activity during the past lockdown period.
From next week, 25 May, Council will recommence patrols of all areas. Infringements will be limited to warning notices only.
From 1 June, full patrols and penalty notices will recommence.
Fines continue to apply to safety-related infringements.

Public spaces

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

  • Council is urging Inner West citizens to make the most of their COVID-19 isolation exercise time by discovering the many walks, running and cycling routes available to them. Read the  "Go take a hike" media release here.
  • Inner West parks are still open. 
  • Playgrounds, outdoor fitness stations and skate parks will reopen on Friday 15 May, in line with advice from NSW Health. Users should exercise caution including practising social distancing. Use of hand sanitiser or wipes is recommended.
  • Commercial fitness trainers and boot camps are permitted to resume from Friday 15 May. Registered trainers are permitted to resume groups limited to 10 people. Social distancing and good hygiene must be maintained.
  • 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.
  • Community sports group are not yet able to return to organised training. Please stay connected to your club to find out when and how training will take place.
  • The Iron Cove Bay run is also still open with social distancing rules.
  • Council has increased ranger presence to educate community about the new rules. To report breaches, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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 

Rates relief

Ratepayers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may apply to defer payment of rates. 

Find further details on our Rates relief webpage

Venues and community centres

Use of all Council facilities has been suspended until further notice.

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 Customer Service on 9392 5000 or Ilce Kostrevski on 9392 5775.

Waste and recycling

  • Red, green, blue and yellow bin collections continue. 
    Please check your collection day here
  • The Weekend transfer station at Leichhardt will reopen 23 May (weekends only)
    The community recycling centres (CRCs) at Leichhardt and St Peters will reopen 23 May (weekends only)
    For a full list of what can and cant be dropped off, visit our TrickyWaste webpage
  • 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

Volunteering NSW have created an Emergency Volunteer Platform for community members who want to volunteer to support people impacted by COVID-19.
Potential volunteers can submit their details to the emergency support volunteer list.
From there, Volunteering NSW will share their details with organisations needing assistance. 

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

 

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Page last updated: 21 May 2020