Bega Valley Shire Council Update March 25th 2020

Update from Mayor Kristy McBain, Wednesday, March 25... Thanks for tuning in, Like many parents, I’ve taken the Premiers advice and am at home with my family. The kids are helping me with this video which doubles as home schooling – for all of us! Thank you to the local teachers and staff who are keeping local schools open so that other mums, dads and carers can keep working. These are challenging times, the news and advice changes daily and I am keen to update you on where council is at as we look to support you and work within the advice of State and Federal health authorities. The vast majority of our services are still operating, all be it with the necessary modifications and increased hygiene practises. But there have been a number of changes you need to know about: Our Zingel Place Customer Service area in Bega is now closed to the public. Customer Service staff are still available to provide services and support our community. You can phone them 6499 2222 or email The Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Service is now closed - that’s both the Bega Centre and Mobile Outreach Service. This is a move that weighs heavily on us given the level of need in our community following summer’s bushfires. Our recovery team is still at work though, and right now are looking at how they can continue to provide the highest possible level of support. You can still reach them via the Recovery Hotline on 6499 2345 or the email address - Council’s website also carries a range of recovery information for you to explore. Our Bushfire Recovery Meeting tomorrow night at 5:30, via Council’s Facebook page will still go ahead. Now more than ever we all need to watch out for the fragile and vulnerable in our community. All our treasured community halls are now closed and any local markets on Council land or Council managed Crown Land are cancelled until further notice. Our waste transfer stations will remain open for the time being, but there will be no cash sales, staff will only accept card transactions to dispose of waste. All our tip shops are now closed. These changes to our services follow yesterday’s action with the closure of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery and all Shire swimming pools. All Shire libraries are operating reduced services, with customers no longer able to browse the collections. Instead, a ‘takeaway’ service is being introduced, allowing users to select materials online or by phoning ahead and then collecting their orders at their branch library. Check the Bega Valley Library Service website for more. You will also find more information on Council’s website and Facebook page. Please also share this information with friends and family who might not be online. Holding community meetings or distributing printed material just isn’t an option right now. It’s super important that when and if you are engaging with Council staff who are still out in the field that we all remember the advice around social distancing and personal hygiene – and continue to treat each other with respect and tolerance. Any council staff who have the capacity to work from home are doing so. Council’s Critical Incident Management Committee is meeting regularly, and we have actioned our business continuity plan to ensure a continuation of our essential services to the community. Council staff also continue to support the Bega Valley Local Emergency Management Committee led by NSW Police and NSW Health. As you can appreciate this situation will continue to evolve over the coming days and weeks, we will continue to keep you informed. The constant changes and general weight of emotion we are all feeling takes a toll and I ask that you continue to look after yourself and those around you. The Bega Valley has each other’s back. Thanks for your time, we’ll talk again soon Kristy McBain - Mayor, Bega Valley Shire Council