Covid-19 – Important Community Information – UPDATED REGULARLY

This page has been established to provide the Kyogle Council community with relevant information about the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic as it becomes available and to update residents and ratepayers on Council’s services.

The safety of our communities and employees is Kyogle Council’s number one priority and to that end we are taking advice from the NSW and Federal Governments in relation to Covid-19.

Council aims to maintain service levels to our communities as much as possible, however that may change at short notice.

Council’s administration centre remains open, however social distancing guidelines apply (see below) and customers are asked to use the hand sanitizer, which is available at the front counter, on arrival.

Community members are reminded that most business with Council can now be conducted on-line or over the phone (6632 1611).

People who do not have access to a computer, can always phone Council (6632 1611) and talk to our customer service staff about what they can do to help you.

Council services

Most Council services are operating as normal, as resources allow. However, this may change at short notice and there have been some disruptions to a number of non-essential services.

What’s operating and what’s not

  • Kyogle library, including the mobile library, re-opening in line with NSW Health guidelines and restrictions on Monday 1, June. Restrictions will include:
    • Excluding staff and visitors who are unwell;
    • Limiting the number of guests to allow for four square metres per person;
    • providing distance markers for people queuing at service points;
    • limited internet/in library computer services;
    • quarantining books for 24 hours before returning them to shelves;
    • providing a special opening time (10-11am Tuesday to Friday) for  people aged over 70 years.
  • Kyogle Visitor Information Centre is open, however only two visitors are allowed on the premises at any one time.
  • Kyogle Museum remains closed but will re-open on Thursday, 3 September 2020.
  • Roxy Gallery has re-opened. Opening hours are 10am-3pm Wednesday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday. COVID-19 restrictions include:
    • Only one entrance to gallery, via the Summerland Way foyer
    • Maximum of 10 people in the gallery at any one time
    • All visitors to provide name and contact details for the purposes of contract tracing
    • Cleaning will be increased
    • The Roxy Shop will remain closed until further notice
    • If you are felling unwell, please DO NOT visit the gallery
  • The Kyogle Memorial Institute (KMI) Hall is available for bookings. The maximum number of people allowed in the hall/supper room is limited to one person per four square metres.
  • Council’s three public swimming pools are closed for the off-season.
  • Kyogle Community Centre (formerly known as the Kyogle Seniors Centre) is available for bookings. The maximum number of people allowed on the premises is limited to one person per four square metres.
  • Kyogle Youth Centre also known as the Laneway Community Space will re-open on Monday 22 June for the following activities:
    • Wednesday – Friday Kyogle Youth Action drop in between 3.30-5pm
    • Fair Share Kitchen open Thursdays from 11am-2pm
    • Kyogle Together will be undertaking extra cleaning of the centre and other measures such as temperature checks, social distancing, and limiting numbers in the space
  • Return and earn collection point at the Kyogle landfill, re-opening with restrictions on Monday, 1 June. Restrictions include:
    • Visits will be strictly by appointment only. If you do not have an appointment you will be turned away.
    • Appointments will occur in 15 minute intervals. This will enable most patrons to drop off their containers and exit the facility before the next patron arrives.
    • On arrival you must enter via the main gate and turn right to the Return and Earn Collection Shed as usual. If a yellow and black barricade is across the road, you must wait at this barricade until staff give you the green light to proceed to the shed.
    • When making an appointment, you will be required to tell staff approximately how many containers you will be dropping off. You cannot bring more containers than you nominate when making your appointment due to collection limits.
    • There is a limit on the number of containers Council can collect in a 7-day period. Once this limit is reached, we will not be able to take any more appointments for that week. However, you may make an appointment for the following week.
    • If you miss your appointment time or are more than 15 minutes late, you will need to rebook another appointment time.
    • To make an appointment, please call the Kyogle Landfill Facility on (02) 66323 002 between 8am – 12pm, Monday to Friday
  • All Council caravan parks and camping grounds are open.
  • Kyogle Tip Shop will re-open on Thursday, 25 June. Opening hours will be 9am-1pm Thursday to Sunday.
  • All Council playgrounds have re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • Kyogle skatepark has re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • All outdoor gyms have re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • Council’s administration centre remains open.
  • All waste facilities remain open.
  • Construction and maintenance crews remain on the job.

* Please observe current government guidelines for social distancing and gatherings of people (people to remain 1.5m apart, outdoor gatherings limited to up to 10 people), wipe down surfaces before and after use where possible, practice good hygiene (cover you mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands for 20 seconds), stay at home if you are sick, and remember it is your responsibility to leave an area if it is too busy.

There may be further changes as the Covid-19 situation develops. Council will provide regular updates on this page and social media.

Public toilets

All public toilets are open except the toilet in David Reid Park, Kyogle.

Border Closures

The Queensland Government has advised Council of the following measures in relation to the closure of the Queensland border.

  • Full closure of Lions Road/Running Creek Road (a barrier will be in place preventing traffic from crossing the border).
  • Soft closure at the Summerland Way/Mt Lindesay Highway (signage and 24 hour police presence).
  • Soft closure of The Head/Carney Road in the Tenterfield Shire.
  • Multiple police patrolled checkpoints in the Tweed.
  • Cross border rail services will terminate in NSW – see the Transport NSW website.
  • Road closure warning signs will be erected at Casino and Kyogle.

All people entering Queensland will be required to isolate for 14 days unless they are exempt. For the full details on the Queensland border closure, including exemptions, enforcement measures and effects on cross border communities, go to the Queensland Government website.

Information for Business

As the Federal and State Government’s move to ease restrictions, more and more businesses are re-opening their doors and operating under guii Business owners/operators requiring information and guidance on operating (including re-opening) their business as restrictions ease are advised to go to the NSW Government website by clicking here.

Australian Government Support for Business

JobKeeper Payment

The Australian Government has introduced a JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, for up to six months as part of a package to support the wages of up to 6 million Australians throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The JobKeeper Payment started on 30 March 2020, with the first payment to be received by employers in the first week of May.  Employers must pass this payment on to their employees.  Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not-for-profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible along with self-employed individuals.

Employers must elect to participate in the scheme. You can do this by registering here.

Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy

Registration is open for employers for the Australian Government’s Apprentice Wage Subsidy to retain apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers will receive a 50 percent subsidy for wages paid to apprentices between January to March this year. This will provide urgent financial assistance to help businesses retain their existing apprentices and trainees.  For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

Jobs Hub

The Australian Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies through an up-to-date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring. It can be found here.

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers. This includes jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others.

In addition, employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at workforce@dese.gov.au to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

The Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit has been created in Treasury to build on existing efforts to support confidence, employment and business continuity. It is engaging with peak business and industry groups on systemic issues arising from Coronavirus to ensure these are being brought to the attention of Government. The Unit is hearing from business on a regular basis and providing updates to Government, focusing on crucial issues where the Government may be able to undertake additional work to support what business is doing. The Unit is also providing up-to-date information on the Government’s response to COVID-19 and the actions that Government is taking to support business and industry across Australia.

To contact the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, email CoronavirusBusinessLiaison@treasury.gov.au. To learn more about the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, click here.

The Australian Government is rolling out comprehensive targeted assistance to support businesses in response to the pandemic. Call the business.gov.au hotline on 13 28 46 to speak with a specialist adviser about what support is available. The hotline is open seven days a week from 7am-11pm AEST.  For the latest information on what is available to help business visit business.gov.au, follow this link to the Treasury website,  or click on the fact sheets below:

NSW Government Support for Business

Small Business Support Grants

The NSW Government is providing $10,000 grants to small businesses across NSW struggling to cope with the COVID-19 shutdown.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000
  • a payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
  • have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020
  • be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020
  • use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice
  • provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW from 17 April and will remain open until 1 June 2020.

NSW Government’s Economic Package

Key elements of the NSW COVID-19 stage two package include:

  • the creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put in to action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services
  • deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three month deferral as well
  • deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat
  • deferral of the parking space levy for six months
  • deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.

For more information about the NSW Government’s  COVID-19 business and employment response, follow this link.

Individuals

As part of the Federal Government’s stimulus packages, support is being provided for individuals and families. For the latest advice on what  is available, click here. You can also follow the links below.

NBN Co to establish financial relief and assistance package

NBN Co has announced it will establish a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund to help internet providers to support their residential and small and medium business customers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The relief fund, created following a short industry consultation led by NBN Co, is aimed at helping internet providers connect low-income households with home schooling needs, supporting emergency and essential services, and assisting small and medium businesses and residential customers who are facing financial hardship.

What you need to know about Covid-19

NSW Health says the best way to protect yourself and your family is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

You should also make sure you stay home if you are sick and practice social distancing.

Social distancing means we reduce the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another.

While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:

  • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
  • attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
  • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people.
  • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

For more information about social distancing, refer to NSW Government – Social distancing

For the most up-to-date information on Covid-19 click on the following links: