The people of the Huon Valley are well known for their strength and resilience in the face of adversity. We are Stronger Together.
This crisis has turned our way of life upside down, significantly disrupting the way we live, work and play.
Amongst the hardship, we have witnessed many acts of kindness as community members, groups and neighborhoods look out for each other.
Now and into the future we can keep working together to help our communities become even stronger than before.
Council is committed to recognising the local skills, strengths and resources across our community and will continue to support individuals, groups, clubs and organisations to be active in a variety of community-led recovery initiatives.
Please Have Your Say about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and what ideas you have for recovery.
Below you will find resources and advice that can support your local community to build resilience.
These resources will be regularly reviewed and updated.
Individuals and groups across our community are finding new ways to connect to support each other.
Below are some projects which have supported communities to connect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every Day can be Neighbour Day – Neighbour Day has aimed to increase social connection and belonging in communities across the nation and has served to remind us how important it is to build strong relationships with those who live near us. Social connections and support are even more important as the country grapples with extended periods of isolation, physical distancing measures and a re-think of how we operate our day-to-day lives. Relationships Australia support Neighbour Day events and have published a range of ideas and tips to help people create connections. Connection Cards can be downloaded here
Crisis heroes are community heroes helping those in need. Visit this free community platform where you can offer or seek help. Need help with shopping, supplies, food, mail, business or emotional support? Crisis Heroes can help.
Gather My Crew provides free technology to mobilise support around Australians doing it tough. You can use their secure and trusted platform to coordinate help during COVID-19. Visit Gather My Crew to create an online ‘support crew’ for yourself or if you want to help organise support for a friend, family member or neighbour.
Nextdoor is the neighbourhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services. Nextdoor is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips. There are so many ways our neighbours can help us, we just need an easier way to connect with them.
In these tough times, many of our local Huon Valley groups are supporting others. Visit healthconnect to learn more about these groups.
In the current rapidly changing environment of COVID-19, many of you may be already looking out for your neighbours, family and friends.
There is a possibility however, that organisations supporting a response near you may require additional volunteers.
Volunteering Tasmania plays a key role in connecting volunteers and their skills to people, places and organisations who need it most.
They maintain a database of ‘willing volunteers’, people who want to contribute in some way to help others through a crisis or disaster and match the right people to volunteer organisations in their area involved in support and recovery.
If you would like to volunteer in your local community or if your group needs new volunteers, please visit Volunteering Tasmania for more information or call them on 1800 677 895.
Huon Valley Council are committed to supporting community through recovery wherever possible.
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 has developed a Financial Hardship and Payment Assistance Policy, which provides assistance to ratepayers and community members experiencing difficulty in meeting financial obligations to Council due to genuine financial hardship.
You may be eligible for hardship assistance, where:
- You are unable to pay amounts when due and payable for reasons beyond your control (including due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis); and
- Payment when due would cause you genuine financial hardship.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you are encouraged to
apply for assistance as soon as possible for:
- Alternate and flexible payment arrangements of rates;
- Deferral of the payment of rates (ie. paying rates after they would normally be due); or
- Deferral or waiver in relation to Council fees or charges.
Council is willing to work with you to tailor a payment arrangement to suit your specific circumstances and encourage you to complete an application form.
If you would like to chat with Council’s Rates Officer you can ring 03 6264 0300 or email email@example.com.
Stronger Together Quick Response Community Grants
If you have a community or creative project that would help the wellbeing of Huon Valley residents through COVID-19, you can apply now for funding through Council’s new Quick Response Community Grants program. Please visit our Community Grants page for more information.
Government and non government agencies are providing a variety of support to communities
Visit the State Government’s COVID-19 website for more information about State Government response and recovery programs.
Other Community Grants and Support
Tasmanian Community Fund COVID-19 Specific Fund – Applications open on 11 July 2020
This fund aims to assist not for profit community groups and organisations realign their work and adapt to the “new normal” and beyond, helping the community support, connect and rebuild.
Small grant to stay in touch via video-conferencing – Closes 30 June 2020
Primary Health Tasmania invites local non-profit groups, clubs and community organisations to apply for a small grant to stay in touch via video-conferencing. Eligible groups can apply for up to $230 towards an annual video conferencing subscription. Applications are now open and will close on 30 June 2020. Click here to find out more, and apply.
Local Emergency Food Relief – COVID19 Grants Program – Closes 31 May 2020
The Tasmanian Government is helping local emergency food relief organisations which support Tasmanians in need through a small grants program. The Program is open to not-for-profit organisations which provide emergency food relief directly to members of their local community.
Concerns around the coronavirus outbreak, financial strains and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood.
There are resources to help support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing at this time.
It is important to seek support if you are feeling overwhelmed. Speaking with friends or family to let them know how you feel can help, and they might also appreciate talking to you about how they feel. There are also many digital mental health services that you can access online or over the phone, or you can connect with a health professional such as your GP, a psychologist, or other mental health professional.
Help is available 24 hours a day
Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
Mens Line Australia 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Rural Alive and Well (RAW) 1300 4357 6283
A summary of available Mental Health and Wellbeing resources is on www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au
QPR is an online education program that aims to teach people the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond following three steps: Question, Persuade and Refer.
Primary Health Tasmania is encouraging all Tasmanians interested in suicide prevention to complete QPR Training.
QPR training is free for individuals and for organisations (up to 10 licences per organisation are available) and will be offered until the end of June 2021. Find out more here
Accessing a local Psychologist through telehealth
With new Medicare telehealth rebates in place until the end of September 2020, you can see a psychologist via telehealth (i.e. videoconference or phone).
First you need a referral from your GP for a Mental Health Care Plan (unless you already have a plan in place) this will entitle you to up to ten telehealth sessions with a Psychologist with not cost involved if you are a Medicare card holder (you will be bulk billed).
The Huon Valley has a number of Psychologists working in the area who are providing telehealth services:
|Janelle Nichols||0432 951 133||Tuesday and Thursday (Books currently closed)|
|Bethan Smith||0404 650 139||8.30am – 5pm Tuesday and Friday|
|Tina Hale||6264 2800||Patients aged 15 and over only|
|Dr Toby Croft||0488 996 330||By appointment only|
|Dr Toby Croft||0488 996 330||By appointment only|
|Trevor Crowe||6298 1222||Every 2nd Wednesday|