The health and safety of our staff and community is Huon Valley Council’s number one priority and we are actively taking measures respond to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. We are also supporting wellbeing and resilience in our communities through the Stronger Together recovery program.
In the interest of public safety, we have made changes to the way we deliver services in accordance with advice from the Department of Health. Council has enacted its Business Continuity Plan to ensure we maintain an appropriate level of service to the community.
To reduce the number of face-to-face interactions, we encourage you to interact with Council the following ways:
- Contact Us (online form)
- Telephone: (03) 6264 0300
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online Services (various options)
- For the latest State Government information on COVID-19 in Tasmania, visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au
- For the information relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia, visit the Australian Department of Health website: health.gov.au
- Download the Coronavirus Australia App from the App Store or Google Play
- Download the COVIDSafe contact tracing app on the App Store and Google Play
- Follow Stay Healthy Stay Connected on Facebook for tips on keeping mentally healthy
- Please visit Stronger Together to connect with services and programs that can help you to stay healthy, informed and connected
- Sign up for Council’s weekly eNewsletter
For a range of print-friendly posters, flyers and fact sheets please go to coronavirus.tas.gov.au/resources.
Mental health support:
If you are feeling distressed, seek support:
- Beyond Blue, 1300 22 46 36
- Lifeline Australia, 13 11 14
- MensLine Australia, 1300 78 99 78
- Kids Helpline Official, 1800 551 800
- Tasmanians experiencing significant mental health problems can contact the Mental Health Services Helpline on 1800 332 388 for more immediate support
- In an emergency call 000
More mental health resources are available on coronavirus.tas.gov.au.
9 June 2020
5 June 2020
2 June 2020
30 May 2020
28 May 2020
26 May 2020
21 May 2020
20 May 2020
18 May 2020
- Easing of restrictions (14 May)
- Support resources (12 May)
- Coronavirus update (6 May)
- Advice for teenagers (5 May)
- Council’s COVID-19 response (30 April)
- Tips for learning at home (29 April)
- Council meeting update (28 April)
- Coronavirus update (27 April)
- Coronavirus update (23 April)
- Tips for staying mentally healthy (21 April)
- Family violence support (6 May)
- Update on Council’s COVID-19 response (17 April)
- JobKeeper allowance for Huon Valley businesses
- COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in our community (16 April)
- Local click-and-collect shopping (15 April)
- Share your ideas and concerns on COVID-19 response and recovery (13 April)
- Local emergency relief services (11 April)
- Flatten the curve (8 April)
- COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) update (25 March)
- Waste management information (3 April)
- Notice of rescheduled Ordinary Meetings (2 April)
- Closures Notice: Playgrounds and skate parks (30 March)
- Dover and Geeveston Medical Centres are open (30 March)
- Closure Notice: Council’s Customer Services Centre (27 March)
- Special advisory for accommodation providers (27 March)
- RV site closure notice (26 March)
- Closures Notice: Visitor centres, Geeveston Town Hall and Re-Use Shop (24 March)
- COVID-19 advice for food businesses (24 March)
- Recreation Centres and Swimming Pool Closures (19 March)
- COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information (17 March)
Follow Huon Valley Council on Facebook
Protect yourself, protect others
Call your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to be tested for COVID-19 if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms.
Physical distancing must be strictly observed at all times, and people are asked to move on once they have completed their exercise. If a park or walkway is busy, please come back another time or try another area.
Support for individuals and the community
The Tasmanian Government’s social and economic support package will help vulnerable Tasmanians and our community as we deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information about support for households and the community is available at coronavirus.tas.gov.au/stimulus-and-support.
The Tasmanian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 671 738 is the main point of contact for the Tasmanian community on the coronavirus pandemic.
Older Australians can call the National COVID Older Persons Information Line on 1800 171 866 to speak to friendly, specially trained staff from a senior’s advocacy organisation.
Emergency support is available for vulnerable and low-income Tasmanians, including those who need to self-isolate but are unable to stay at their normal place of residence or are homeless.
A number of Huon Valley food relief services, social workers and community groups are available by phone to provide support to those who need it while limiting physical contact.
Community Transport Services Tasmania can help vulnerable Tasmanians with grocery and pharmacy delivery at no cost, and extended its service to include transport to medical appointments. More info: email@example.com or call 1800 781 033
Please go to the Australian Government Treasury website for details about financial assistance for individuals and households.
Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees.
Income support will be provided through a temporary Coronavirus Supplement of $550 a fortnight for new and existing income support recipients from 27 April 2020 for six months.
Please go to the Services Australia website if you are affected by COVID-19 and want to find out more about financial assistance that may be available to you.
All schools are transitioning back to school-based learning through a phased approach.
- Find out more at coronavirus.tas.gov.au
- Visit the Department of Education COVID-19 webpage
- Follow the Department of Education Facebook page
For further information please contact the Department of Education on 1800 816 057 (9am to 5pm weekdays).
Children should not attend school or childcare if they feel unwell.
Parents who choose to keep your child at home to learn will be responsible for supporting their child’s learning through their own resources. The the Department of Education Learning at Home page provides some ideas and activities which may assist.
Early childhood education and care
Children can still attend childcare, unless they are unwell or meet the criteria for self-isolation.
Huon Valley Children’s Services’ Child Care Centres in Huonville, Geeveston and Dover continue to run and are following hygiene and social distancing advice from the Department of Health.
After School Care at our centres is available 3pm to 6pm weekdays. Please call the office on (03) 6264 0333 to book.
Information and assistance specific to the disability sector is now available on coronavirus.tas.gov.au.
The Australian Government’s Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability has been launched.
Disability Information Helpline: 1800 643 787 weekdays 8am to 8pm and 9am to 7pm on the weekend (free call)
The Tasmanian Government has signed a new partnership with the Australian Government to boost responses to family and sexual violence.
Specialist family violence services are available if you or someone you know needs help:
- 000 if you’re in danger or an emergency
- 1800RESPECT or 1800 737 732
- Family Violence Counselling and Support Service, 1800 806 122, 9am to midnight weekdays, 4pm to midnight weekends and public holidays
- Sexual Assault Support Service, 1800 697 877, 24 hr crisis support
- Huon Domestic Violence Service, 62 642 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- SafeChoices Tasmania, 9am to 5pm weekdays, 1800 806 189, text 0448 046 918 or email email@example.com
- Engender Equality, 6278 9090
Animal owners, shelters and veterinary clinics
COVID-19 Safe Workplaces
The Tasmanian Government has launched a COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework to support businesses and workplaces to continue to operate, or reopen, while protecting Tasmania’s health and safety.
Checklists and templates are available on coronavirus.tas.gov.au to help businesses develop their workplace COVID-19 Safety Plans.
Work health and safety advice
Employers must ensure the health and safety of workers and other people. This includes having measures in place to stop or manage the risks of COVID-19.
Employers are advised to keep up to date with Tasmanian Government advice on controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including any restrictions on normal business activities, and respond accordingly.
WorkSafe Tasmania’s Pandemic Plan Advice can guide you in protecting your workers and others at your workplace from COVID-19.
Heads Up gives individuals and businesses the tools to create more mentally healthy workplaces.
Support and advice
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Business Tasmania Hotline on 1800 440 026.
- The Kingborough & Huon Business Enterprise Centre provides free advice to small businesses, including topics such as business planning, financial forecasting, tools and templates, and training.
- Regional tourism organisation Destination Southern Tasmania also offers support and advice for its member businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The organisation is calling on all tourism-related businesses to join its network by becoming a member for free!
- If you have a business-related question or problem, you can receive free business advice by going to the Enterprise Centres Tasmania website or calling Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 to be directed to an advisor.
- The Tasmanian Government has boosted the Digital Ready for Business program to help businesses move online. Businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the free online resources available through the Digital Ready website.
- Tourism Tasmania are releasing four new ‘Talking Tourism’ Podcasts fortnightly, updating local tourism operators on the latest news and developments.
- The Tourism Export Council’s Build Back Better webinar series provides tourism businesses with the latest information on how COVID-19 is impacting the industry.
- Buy Something Tasmanian is a new internet marketplace where you can list and sell your products and services to a new and wider range of customers than you currently have.
- Local businesses can register on Restaurants Hobart to advertise that they are still open for takeaway or delivery. The website requires no commissions from listed businesses.
- Eat Well Tasmania has launched a new app to support Tasmanian food producers by enabling people to buy fresh local produce while maintaining social distancing.
COVID-19 business support, grants and loans are now available on the Business Tasmania website.
- Assistance and advice for businesses from Business Tasmania: www.business.tas.gov.au/coronavirus_information
- Assistance and advice for businesses from Tourism Tasmania: www.tourismtasmania.com.au/industry/business-assistance
- Australian Government support for businesses: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus
The ATO is running a free 60-minute webinar throughout May on how the Government’s stimulus package can help your small business.
Reputable financial advisory business BDO Australia is running webinars for organisations and individuals on how to be prepared, develop action plans, and manage risks during COVID-19.
Any Endorsed RTO can apply for the Train Now Fund program, which provides subsidised training for existing workers and sole traders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safe Work Australia provides guidelines and information across 23 industries so that businesses can return to work in a COVID safe environment.
Agriculture, fisheries and forestry
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutual (BCCM) has launched the Co-operative Farming Hotline on 1300 665 174 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) to support Australian farmers, fishers and foresters to work together to establish and grow farm co-operatives through the Co-operative Farming project.
The Tasmanian Government announced it will provide an additional $1.8 million for fisheries fees and licence relief for 12 months.
A new $110 million Commonwealth initiative will support access to key export markets for Australia’s agricultural and fisheries sector. The International Freight Assistance Mechanism will help to enable the export of our high-quality produce, with return flights bringing back vital medical supplies, medicines and equipment. You can express your interest at business.gov.au.
Changes to visa arrangements for seasonal workers will help farmers access the workforce they need.
Tasmanian forestry contractors can apply for funding to improve their business practices under the Forestry Contractor Resilience Program.
The Australian Government has launched a Jobs Hub website to help Australians find work during the pandemic.
Not-for-profit provider Maxima Tasmania (1300 629 462) is available to help people find employment and navigate the Centrelink system, as well as provide ongoing support, for free. This includes its NDIS School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) program, which allows Year 12 students to prepare for work virtually and be supported in employment during COVID-19.
Maxima can also assist businesses that are looking for additional staff through free recruitment assistance and workplace assessments.
Council’s Stronger Together program supports the individuals, families, groups and businesses our communities to work together to recover from the crisis by finding new ways to live, work and play safely, and come out stronger on the other side.
On the Stronger Together page, you will find:
- COVID-19 local news and updates
- HEARTFELT project info & inspiration
- HVC Quick Response Community Grants info
- Community Issues and Ideas survey
- Tips to Stay Connected
- Emergency relief contacts
- Business and development support resources
- Community support resources
At its 8 April 2020 Ordinary Meeting, Council agreed to take the following emergency relief actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis:
- Council will not apply penalty and interest charges on outstanding rates until 30 June 2020
- Council will consider, on an individual basis, applications for rent relief on Council-owned buildings where lessees are experiencing financial hardship until 30 June 2020
- Council will consider adoption of a Financial Hardship/Assistance Policy taking into account a Model Policy to be developed by the Local Government Association of Tasmania. (Draft policy to be presented at 29 April Ordinary Meeting.)
- Council will not proceed with debt recovery actions for ratepayers experiencing financial difficulty until adoption of a Financial Hardship/Assistance Policy
- For the purposes of development of the 2020/2021 Council Budget, the following principles are to be taken into account:
- A zero% increase on the general rate
- Rate service charges to be reflective of cost
- Fees and charges may be increased taking into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI), costs of delivering the service, and other relevant factors
- Options for relaxing depreciation requirements or extending standard asset life for 2020/2021 be considered based upon any criteria agreed with the Auditor-General (including asset condition) and subject to the Auditor-General adjusting financial indicators accordingly
- Council will create a Community Grants program to be focussed on appropriate support to local business and not-for-profit recovery or conversion to a digital environment or circular economy
- Supporting local businesses through the procurement of goods and services. The Huon Valley Council General Manager is authorised to request and accept quotes from local business only, up to an amount of $249,999.99
- Where possible and practicable to do so, Council will settle creditor invoices within a 14 day timeframe irrespective of normal trading terms
For the full report and details on provisions please read the 8 April 2020 Meeting Minutes on Meetings, Agendas & Minutes page.
Financial hardship support
Huon Valley Council’s Financial Hardship and Payment Assistance Policy provides assistance to ratepayers and community members experiencing difficulty in meeting financial obligations to Council due to genuine financial hardship.
If you are currently experiencing hardship and have received your rates instalment notice to pay, please contact Council’s Customer Service Office. Our officers will be able to discuss with you the options that are currently available to support you during this time.