COVID-19 information and FAQs

COVID-19 microscope

Friday 15 May 2020

Please note this information is current as at the time of publishing. We will provide regular updates to our community as the situation changes and WA Department of Health advice comes through. 

The WA Government announced a cautious easing of restrictions from 27 April. This means we can cautiously relax the number for indoor and outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, while practicing social distancing. All other restrictions remain in place for now.

This means public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment will remain closed. However our parks are open for your enjoyment and we will re-open more drink fountains to support increased visitors. Please follow the advice on attached signage.

Restaurants, cafés, food vans, food courts and road houses remain restricted to takeaway and home delivery. Find out how you can support your local businesses here.

The Town will continue to follow the advice of the State Government. You can find a list of frequently asked questions about the easing of restrictions on the WA Government website.

For further advice please continue to visit the WA Department of Health website.

To view Department of Health Australia and World Health Organisation information in other languages, visit the multilingual resource library: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Multilingual Resource Library

For Australian Government updates and resources including news, advice and newly available financial assistance visit https://www.australia.gov.au. You can also view this Government support document(PDF, 382KB).

What is the Town doing to maintain personal hygiene and encourage social distancing?

  • At its own buildings and facilities the Town has been following Department of Health advice to frequently disinfect doorknobs, buttons, light switches, handrails, tap handles and front counter servery desks with quaternary ammonia or bleach-based chemicals.  

  • We are sharing Government advice and referring to key information on 'social distancing' and personal hygiene habits as an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting the disease. 

  • Our Rangers are supporting WA Police with increased patrols to encourage people to follow social distancing rules. Rangers cannot enforce the rules but will report people not observing WA Health restrictions to police.

Are your major facilities open?

The Town’s admin centre, Digital Hub and the depot are now closed to the public.

Aqua/leisure centres

Aqualife will be open to members and the community from Monday 25 May with the 25 metre indoor pool and a limited number of group fitness classes available.   

The Aqualife opening hours will be 5.30am to 8pm during the week for all customers wishing to attend either recreational swimming or a group fitness class. Bookings are essential for both recreational swim and group fitness classes, to ensure that the facility adheres to strict social distancing and shared equipment restrictions. Bookings can be made either online via the Leisure facilities FAQ page or phoning Aqualife on 9373 5400.  

All other programing including gym, swimming lessons, crèche, spa, steam room, hydro pool will all remains closed until further notice. The 50 metre outdoor pool will remain closed due to undergoing refurbishment works, due for completion in July 2020. 

Leisurelife will only be available for permanent bookings and businesses that work out of the centre from Tuesday 2 June. 

The leisure facilities team will continually be reviewing its services and program as social distancing and shared equipment restrictions are eased by the State Government. For further information about the opening of Aqualife or Leisurelife, please click on the following link to the Leisure facilities FAQs page. 

Library

The Town of Victoria Park Library will open Monday 18 May. It will offer front counter service, drop off and pick up services and access to computers with time limits, social distancing restrictions and a regular cleaning regime. Lengthy browsing for books will not be allowed and our programs remain postponed, until further notice.

While some of our contact centres are closed, we are still operating in most cases. Please use this website for options of completing a business transaction, if available, online. You can also still phone or email us for assistance. See our centre contact details here.

Are parks and playgrounds open?

We have closed the basketball courts at McCallum Park and Lathlain Park (Zone 2X), removed hoops at others and closed dog exercise areas. We have taped off playgrounds and skate parks, turned lights off, and switched off barbecues and water fountains at various locations to deter group gatherings of more than ten people. 

Are toilets open?

Majority of our public toilets are closed, with the exception of John MacMillan Park, Archer Street carpark and Hubert Street carpark, which will remain open due to their proximity to support services and vulnerable community members. These facilities will have additional cleaning daily. 

Soap will be provided in all public toilets that remain open however, due to being a potential fire hazard, no paper towels or air dryers will be available. 

Are water fountains turned on?

To support the State Governments relaxing of restrictions to allow gatherings of up to 10 people, the Town has re-opened a number of drink fountains. Please follow the advice on attached signage.

Water fountains on the footpath outside the post office on Albany Highway and the Kent Street end of John Macmillan Park remain open due to their proximity to community groups that support vulnerable people in need of drinking water.

 

Is tap water safe to drink?

The Water Services Association of Australia says that "drinking water in Australia is high quality and is well treated. There is no evidence that drinking water will be affected by the COVID-19 virus or that it is transmitted by drinking water. There is also no evidence that has been transmitted by wastewater systems. Water is an essential service and water utilities are well prepared to manage their response to COVID-19."

You can download their fact sheet here.

You can also read the Water Corporation's COVID-19 response, including their FAQs.


Is the Council going to reduce rates, fees and charges?

At a Special Council Meeting on 7 April, Council endorsed a 0% rate rise for the 2020-2021 budget, meaning there will be no increase in rates or fees and charge for the financial year ahead.

Additionally, collection of charges for underground power will be deferred until 2021. 

Council also gave direction for the Town to prepare two alternative budget scenarios to achieve a potential reduction in rates of between 5% and 10%, to be considered for budget adoption in June. 

Effective immediately, Council has waived interest on outstanding rates for 2019-2020, waived cancellation fees, late fees and suspended membership fees until further notice, and waived rent for not-for-profits and sporting clubs leasing Town property.

What other measures is Council taking to support the community?

In the coming months the Town will also prepare a Hardship Relief Policy, investigate a donation program for local not-for-profits and charities, and create a reserve fund dedicated to future recovery projects and programs.

What essential services are still operating?

At this stage, essential services will continue to be delivered – these include waste collection, maintenance for Town buildings, roads, footpaths and parks, parking and ranger services and primary administration services. 

In the case of a full shut down, our Business Continuity Plan allows for the continuation of minimal service delivery.

Our website has some options for completing business transactions and payments online. People can also phone and email us as usual.

Will Council meetings still be held?

Council meetings are still being held, although they will be held remotely instead of in person. We encourage our community to view these meetings through live stream via our website.

Questions and statements from the public can be lodged online, or by emailing governancevicpark@vicpark.wa.gov.au, by 12noon on the day of the meeting.  

If you do not have an internet connection, you can provide your questions in advance by calling 08 9311 8111 and asking to speak with the Governance team.  

For more information visit our Council meetings webpage.


Will my bins still be picked up?

Our contractors have advised bin pick-up services specifically will continue, regardless of council service changes.

How is the Town supporting local businesses?

The Town has a dedicated business support during COVID-19 webpage. This has launched the #StillOpenForBusiness campaign, and a business directory for those still operating deliveries and takeaway services. In partnership with Business Foundations, we are also offering a FREE one-on-one business advisory service to Vic Park-based businesses to deal with the outbreak and its impact. 

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry have also put together a COVID-19 response micro-site which contains a lot information around disaster recovery and business continuity. The Small Business Development Corporation also has a COVID-19 online hub here.  

The Federal and States Government have also announced a range of stimulus packages to support WA households and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Visit https://www.wa.gov.au/service/business-support and https://www.business.gov.au.

To support business and the provision of essential community services during COVID-19, the WA Minister for Planning has issued a notice to allow temporary exemptions for certain approvals and planning requirements. These will remain in effect until 90 days after the end of the State of Emergency. Please see the link for more information: https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/notice-of-exemptions. If you have any questions, please contact us on 9311 8111 to chat to a Planning officer. 

For Town-business specific updates, you can sign up to our Vic Park Biz newsletter

How is the Town supporting community groups and not-for-profits?

Our Community Development team has been checking in with our community groups and reached out to local support services to ask how we can help them at this time. Actions have so far included: 

  • Reviewing our volunteers register to identify skill sets for dedicated outreach support. 
  • Providing Village Hub with a platform to expand its Neighbour to Neighbour program. 
  • Donating cleaning and catering supplies to NGOs, including gloves, masks, packaging and takeaway supplies.
  • Sharing social media posts of community group help initiatives.
  • Contacting sporting clubs, membership groups and service providers weekly to maintain previous bookings and prepare for recovery efforts, including rescheduling events such as Arts Season. 

Do I still need to purchase a parking ticket if visiting a doctor, chemist or other business?

As usual, tickets are required at all times and we encourage you to purchase these though your mobile phone by downloading the Easy Park app.

Fees

The Town has increased free time along Albany Highway to 1 hour and decreased the subsequent hour to $1.10. To ensure there are enough bays for everyone, time limits still apply, please observe the signage in the area. 

Current infringements

To reduce the immediate financial pressures our community may be experiencing, the Town of Victoria Park has placed payment of issued infringements temporarily on hold. 

Whilst the infringement notice is on hold, there is no further action required. Please check back here for updates.

Pending infringement appeals

If you have submitted an appeal and have not had a response, it is still under review and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as a decision has been made. 

These decisions may be sent from a ‘no-reply mailbox’ and you are advised to regularly check your junk mail folder. 

In the event your appeal is not successful, the temporary hold on infringements (outline above) will apply.

Is it safe to touch parking machines? 

If you are worried about this, please use the Easy Park app, free download to your phone.

What mental health and family support services are available?

If you are feeling overwhelmed or isolated, there is support available for you and your family members both nationally and within the Town. 

Mental health support 

  • Lifeline 24/7: 13 11 14 
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 
  • Crisis Care 24/7: 9223 1111 

Children and youth mental health services 

  • Headspace: 1800 650 890 
  • Kids Helpline 24/7: 1800 551 800 

Relationship support 

  • 1800 Respect 24/7: 1800 737 732 
  • Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 007 339 
  • Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 000 599 

Additional support services 

  • Sussex Street Community Law Service: 6253 9500 
  • St Vincent de Paul Emergency Relief Service: 1300 794 054 
  • National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007 


What events and gatherings in the Town have been cancelled or postponed?

The Town has taken action to respond to advice on cancelling and postponing events and programs, and closing public facilities that attract large numbers. 

The following events and programs have been cancelled or postponed.

Events cancelled: 

  • Arts Season
  • Park Flicks: The Australian Dream, What is Democracy? 
  • Park Flicks: Everybody Street
  • Discover your digital creativity 
  • Twilight Multicultural Arts Fair 
  • Mindfulness and Music 
  • Art on Wheels 
  • Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror 
  • Harmony Week events 
  • Citizenship Ceremonies held in April 
  • ANZAC Day
  • Name the Laneway launch event


Events postponed: 

  • Playtime in the Park 
  • Lathlain Park opening 
  • Town Faithful 
  • Vic Park Business Awards 
  • Suburb safety sessions


Programs, services and public facilities interrupted/closed until further notice: 

  • Higgins Park consultation workshops 
  • Laneway naming launch and pop-ups 
  • McCallum Park skate park consultation
  • Baby Rhymetime and Storytime at the library 
  • Saturday night bingo at Leisurelife 
  • Living Longer Living Stronger group fitness classes 
  • Mums and bubs fitness classes 
  • Digital Hub operations
  • All park bookings
  • Cocooning program
  • Blender bike hire
  • Public outdoor Ping Pong

Library FAQs

The Town of Victoria Park Library will open Monday 18 May. Services are restricted and limited to front counter service, opportunity to return loan items, collect reserved items and select new items for loan. Lengthy browsing for books and seating to read and study will not be allowed.

The library will be open at reduced hours:

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 10am-3pm 

What safety measures are in place?

The library is adhering to Federal Government COVID 19 guidelines. We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

To protect others you must:

Antiseptic wipes available for use on trolleys and PC equipment. Please place any wipes in bins provided.

A regular cleaning regime of common touch points such as counters, trolleys, PC desk and IT equipment will be introduced.

If members are unwell or are displaying any of the COVID 19 symptoms we ask that you refrain from visiting the library at this time.

What is happening with current allocated reservations?

Notifications for previously reserved and new items that have been reserved will be sent to nominated contact points advising collection is available from 18 May. Members will be given a maximum of 10 days to collect their reservations.

Loan limits increase

As a courtesy to members we have increased member loan limit to 30 items and all items will be automatically renewed when due back. Some restrictions will apply. This is to provide members the opportunity to take more items home so they won’t need to return to the library for a longer period if desired.

Can I use the public access PCs, scanner and printer?

Yes. Access to computers will be limited to 30 minutes per patron per day.

Printing and scanning is still permitted.

Antiseptic wipes are available for customer use where applicable.

Due to social distancing rules there will be no staff assistance available for use of any of the IT equipment.

Services available

During the Stage 1 reopening library service will be restricted.

  • Members can select new items for loan and collecting reserved items and return current items on loan.
  • PC bookings limited to 30 minutes.
  • Limit of 20 customers adhered to at all time.
  • No single use items such as newspapers and new magazines will be available.
  • Public toilets will remain closed.
  • Water fountain is not available.

Programs

All in-house programs will remain suspended until further notice.

Continue to check website, library Facebook and newsletter for attendance to online program delivery opportunities.

Can I study or meet friends at library

There is no ability for the community to sit and read, study or hold informal gatherings or meetings. The study tables and seating are not available for use until further notice.

Can I book the meeting room?

Library meeting room bookings remain suspended until further notice. Staff need this space to quarantine retuned items as directed by Department of Health.

How will you be communicating updates to us?

Our website is the main source for all information regarding cancellations and closures, and Town specific information about COVID-19. We will also be communicating these via our other Town channels (social media, e-newsletters etc.), however we encourage everyone to visit the website first.

Leisure/aqua centre FAQs

Leisure facilities – FAQs  

The Town’s Aqualife centre plans to open its 25m indoor pool and offer a limited number of group fitness classes from Monday 25 May. The 50m outdoor pool is still closed due to undergoing refurbishment works and is due for completion in July.  

The Town’s gymnasiums at Aqualife and Leisurelife will not be opening until further notice. 

Aqualife opening hours will be from 5:30am to 8pm for members and community, for recreational swimming. Bookings will be required. The pool will also be open to Swim Squad bookings based on availability. All other programing including swimming lessons, remains postponed until further notice.  

Members only will be granted access to a limited number of Aqualife group fitness classes that do not include the use of shared equipment only, will be held three times a day and will accommodate social distancing rules with a limit of 20 people. Bookings will be required. Online fitness classes and home workouts will continue to be facilitated via Facebook and Zoom.   

The leisure facilities team will continually be reviewing its services and program as social distancing and shared equipment restrictions are eased by the State Government.    

When will Aqualife reopen? 

Aqualife will reopen some services and programs from Monday 25 May.  

The facility will open its 25m indoor pool for members and community, for recreational swimming on the below times;

  • Mon-Fri 5.30am to 8pm
  • Public holiday 8am to 4pm

Members only will be granted access to a limited number of Aqualife group fitness classes that do not include the use of shared equipment only, will be held three times a day and will accommodate social distancing rules with a limit of 20 people. 

Bookings are essential for both recreational swim and group fitness classes, to ensure that the facility adheres to social distancing and shared equipment restrictions. All members must book in prior to their session commencing.  Non-members wishing to access the pool will not be able to book online and will only be permitted entry if there is space available.

A bookings link will be emailed to members prior to 25 May.

When will Leisurelife reopen? 

Leisurelife will only be available for permanent bookings and businesses that work out of the centre from 2 June.   

What happens to my Aqualife or Leisurelife membership in the event of a full facility closure? 

All memberships will remain on suspension during the first phase of reopening, no direct debit payments will be processed, and an extension will be automatically provided to upfront paying members.  

What happens if I want to cancel my membership? 

If a member wishes to cancel their membership during the closure, our standard cancellation terms will still apply. Members will be required to email through their cancellation to leisure@vicpark.wa.gov.au and the new fees and charges will be applicable if members wish to renew at a later date.  

What happens to my swim school classes and payments? 

All swimming lessons will remain suspended until further notice. All members will receive a credit for the remaining lessons in term 1, which can be redeemed once lessons resume within the facility.   

What will be happening with the social sporting competition? 

Due to the contact nature of our social sporting competitions, all competitions are cancelled until further notice.  

What will be happening with my nomination fees already paid for upcoming seasons? 

Fee adjustments will be made when the return date has been determined.  

What will be happening with my multipass? 

Multipass expiry dates will be extended for the duration of the closure.  

How will you be communicating updates to us? 

Our website is the main source for all information regarding cancellations and closures, and Town specific information about COVID-19. We will also be communicating these via our other Town channels (social media, e-newsletters etc.), however we encourage everyone to visit the website first. 


Health and Fitness – FAQs
 

Phase 1 includes limited group fitness classes held at Aqua Centre.   

What does the group fitness timetable look like and how long will it be like that? 

The group fitness class timetable will be heavily modified to begin with and will include only three sessions a day and limited to 20 people per class.  No group fitness classes will be running on public holiday 1 June.

As soon as the modified timetable is confirmed a link will be provided here.  

Are there going to be any classes at Leisurelife? 

Not at this first stage. The leisure facilities team will continually be reviewing its services and program as social distancing and shared equipment restrictions are eased by the State Government.    

How much is it? 

All existing members will be granted free access to both group fitness classes and recreational swimming until further notice.  All non-members will be able to purchase a casual entry to the swimming pool only.  

Can non-members participate in a group fitness class? 

At this stage no. Due to number restrictions only existing members will be able to book in for a class.   

I have a gym only membership can I do a group fitness classes or have a swim? 

Yes, for a limited time only all members will be granted access to the restricted services and programs. The Town’s focus is to encourage our members to engage in social and physical activities.   

How many people per class? 

The facility can accommodate for a maximum of 20 for a group fitness class. 

My membership is currently suspended will it stay that way? 

All memberships will remain on suspension during the first phase of reopening, no direct debit payments will be processed, and an extension will be provided to upfront paying members.  

How do I book? 

A bookings link will be emailed to members prior to the 25 May.

You may book up to three classes at a time.  For example if you book three classes, after the first class has been completed you may book one more and so on.

Once the bookings link has been made available and you still require assistance please email gym@vicpark.wa.gov.au.

How do I cancel my booking? 

If you need to cancel please do so in your membership portal.  We ask that you give at least 12 hours notice to allow someone else to participate. 

I have an All Access Membership, can I book three session for group fitness and three for the pool? 

No, you are only able to book three sessions at any one time.  

Is the crèche open? 

No, the creche at both Aqualife and Leisurelife will remain closed until further notice.   

Is the gym open? 

No, the gym at both Aqualife and Leisurelife will remain closed until further notice.  

Will senior circuits be running at Lesiurelife in phase one? 

No, all senior circuits are cancelled in the centre until further notice.  

However, the gym instructors will continue to offer our senior members the opportunity to our weekly live fitness classes on Zoom. Zoom fitness sessions are available to anyone, for more information please email gym@vicpark.wa.gov.au 

Is it safe? 

We are following strict guidelines from the State Government and have a COVID-19 management plan in place. The studio and equipment is cleaned and disinfected before every group fitness class.   

Digital Hub FAQs

What is happening with client bookings?

All in-person client bookings have been cancelled until further notice.

Will the Tech Savvy Workshops be running?

No, the March and April Tech Savvy Workshops that were to be held in the Library have been cancelled. If the Tech Savvy Workshops from May onwards need to be cancelled then we will inform the public in due time.

Will there be an online or phone service offered by the Digital Hub?

The Digital Hub is currently exploring options for offering an online or phone service to clients. The website will be updated as more information comes to hand. 

Where can I get technology help online?

We recommend joining the Federal Government’s online digital literacy program, BeConnected. There you can find resources to help you use your phone, tablet or computer, make the most of online resources and to stay safe online. To sign up, visit beconnected.esafety.gov.au, click the purple 'Sign Up' button in the top right hand corner, then click 'Create an Account'. When you sign up, type in 'Town of Victoria Park Digital Hub' into the 'Name of Support Centre' box. After signing you can explore resources and track your learning progress.

What other resources can I access online?

Although the Town of Victoria Park library is closed to the public, they have a range of online offerings. Please see the library FAQ section for details.

How will you be communicating updates to us?

Our website is the main source for all information regarding cancellations and closures, and Town specific information about COVID-19. We will also be communicating these via our other Town channels (social media, e-newsletters etc.), however we encourage everyone to visit the website first.

Healthy Community FAQs

What if I have paid for a Healthy Community program and it’s postponed?

We are offering participants a credit to use when our programs resume, however if you would prefer a refund we can also arrange this. Please contact us at healthycommunity@vicpark.wa.gov.au

How will you be communicating updates with us?

Our website is the main source for all information regarding cancellations and closures, and Town specific information about COVID-19. We will also be communicating these via our other Town channels (social media, e-newsletters etc.), however we encourage everyone to visit the website first.

The Healthy Community team will continue to send out their monthly e-newsletter, Goodness Me! It will contain lots of useful information on how to stay healthy during disruptions to our normal programs due to COVID-19. If you don’t already receive the e-newsletter you can sign up here.

When do you expect services to resume?

This will be determined by direction from Government departments, at this stage programs and events have been cancelled, and our leisure facilities and library have been closed until further notice. Our website will have all updates and related information when the Healthy Community programs and events can resume.

How can I stay physically and mentally healthy during this time?

We encourage you to check out the following websites, which offer useful health advice.


Can I contact the Healthy Community team?

Yes, please contact us at healthycommunity@vicpark.wa.gov.au if you have any further questions. We would still like to support you and help you stay healthy during this time.

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