Rockhampton Regional Council today announced public access to Council offices, facilities, libraries and depots will be restricted from next week.
CEO Evan Pardon said the changes are in line with the Australian Government’s measures in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus and will give the community another measure of protection.
“Starting at the beginning of the day on Monday 23rd March, the public will no longer be able to access the Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton Art Gallery, Heritage Village, Schotia Place and offices at our depots in Rockhampton, Gracemere and Mount Morgan,” Mr Pardon said.
“On Thursday 26th March, that restriction will then apply to our customer service centres and libraries in Rockhampton, Mount Morgan and Gracemere.
“In line with Federal Government advice, the City Child Care Centre will continue to operate for the moment with increased cleaning and hygiene requirements,” Mr Pardon said.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said Council doesn’t take this step lightly but commended CEO Evan Pardon for taking action in the best interest of the community.
“We appreciate these arrangements will have an impact on how people interact with Council which is why we are taking steps to make this process as smooth as possible for people,” Mayor Strelow said.
“We know a lot of people come into Council buildings to do their business with the organisation so Council is expanding its Customer Service Call Centre to cater for more people phoning in.
“As well, we’ll also be offering appointments for people who maybe can’t quite complete their query over the phone or through our online services to they can come in for a face-to-face by appointment.
“I’d like to encourage people to give us a ring or hop onto the website and I’m sure we’ll be able help with the majority of enquiries then and there. Don’t forget you can lodge requests, pay rates, water and animal regos, lodge building applications and a whole range of other services online.”
“As well, the library will be expanding its home delivery service as well to complement the increased loan times and increased borrow limits decided by Council earlier this week,” Mayor Strelow said.
CEO Evan Pardon said there would also be a number of changes behind the scenes the community wouldn’t see but were all being done to keep the day-to-day business of Council running.
“Council is enacting its Business Continuity Plans to continue delivery of essential services to the community such as water, waste and roads,” Mr Pardon said.
“This is also an opportunity to test our processes before we see any community-based transmissions to ensure that things run smoothly and people can continue to work and spend money in the local economy as more local cases emerge.
“As part of that, we will also be introducing increased social distance and flexible work arrangements for our office staff from next week as well to keep the Council running,” Mr Pardon said.
Council will continue to monitor the ongoing developments and announcements from the Australian Government and keep the community up to date particularly through channels such as Facebook and website so residents are encouraged to keep an eye on those platforms.