COVID-19 information and FAQs

COVID-19 microscope

Friday 5 June 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 reopens on Tuesday 2 June, with a small team in the office.

However, we encourage continued contact wherever possible for enquiries and payments via phone, email, the website and by mailing cheques to us.

If you do need to visit us, please know only a maximum of five customers will be allowed in the reception area at any one time, with a concierge service in place.

Appointments will need to be made for complex enquiries where you need speak to a specialist officer, ie: for a planning or rates matter.

Please respect social distancing protocols, hygiene practices and follow the instructions of staff and signage when entering the building.

The Digital Hub and the depot are still closed to the public.

Aqua/leisure centres

Aqualife and Leisurelife are both open to members and the community to enjoy social and physical activities.    

For more information, please visit our leisure facilities page.

Library

The Town of Victoria Park Library opened on 18 May, with 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.

For more info see our library FAQs below.

Are parks and playgrounds open?

The Town has reopened dog exercise areas and barbecues and water fountains at various locations also back in operation.

In line with State Government guidelines, from Saturday 6 June our skate parks, playgrounds, spaces with outdoor gym equipment and basketball courts will be open. Only the Lathlain Precinct Zone 2X courts in Carlisle will remain closed due to an ongoing noise matter. Our water fountains and barbecues in recreational spaces have also been cleaned and turned back on.

Please observe the responsible use directions on signage in place at these sites, including remaining vigilant with your personal hygiene, and physical distancing and limiting your time spent to an hour, for use of equipment to give everyone a go.

 

Are toilets open?

From 30 May majority of our public toilets will be reopened for public use. These facilities will have additional cleaning. Soap will be provided where possible, however, due to vandalism and potential fire hazard no paper towels or air dryers will be available. 

Please continue to observe State Government social distancing and hygiene measures recommended.

Are water fountains turned on?

Yes, following State Governments relaxing of restrictions, the Town has switched its water fountains back on. Please follow the advice on attached signage.

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?

The Town has supported a number of initiatives to support the community during COVID recovery stages, including adopting a Hardship Relief Policy, introducing a Restart Community Grants and Donations Program, and transferring $500,000 into reserve fund dedicated to future recovery projects and programs. Find our more visit our Restart Vic Park COVID recovery web page.

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 have been held remotely instead of in person since March 2020.

The ABF held on Tuesday 2 June will also be remote and livestreamed, and we will return to in-person meetings, with limited seats for the public gallery, for the June OCM on Tuesday 16 June. 

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 Town and State Government have introduced a series of changes within the planning system to support businesses and enable flexible responses in a changing environment. 

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 library is open at reduced hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am–5pm
Thursday 9am–8pm
Saturday 9am–5pm

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.

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 stage 3, library services 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 50 customers adhered to at all time.
  • Newspapers and new magazines are available.
  • Public toilets are open.
  • Water fountain is not available.

Programs

Some programs will remain suspended until further notice.

Baby Rhymetime and Storytime will recommence the week commencing Monday 22 June. Due to stage three restrictions where only limited numbers of people (this includes children) are allowed in the library at any one time, we will be taking bookings for our rhymetime and storytime sessions. To book please go the Programs and Events page.

Can I book the meeting room?

Meeting room bookings will begin again from Monday 20 July, bookings are now open.

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

Aqualife and Leisurelife are both open to members and the community to enjoy social and physical activities.    

For more information, please visit our leisure facilities page.

Digital Hub FAQs

What is happening with client bookings?

One-to-one digital literacy support will be trialled at the Library from Wednesday 15 July. Initially, a limited number of bookable appointments will be available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For availability please call 9329 4238.

Will the Tech Savvy Workshops be running?

Tech Savvy Workshops will resume from Saturday 25 July. To book, please visit the event listing on our website.

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

Over the phone one-to-one digital literacy support is still available by telephone call throughout the week, 10am–4pm Monday to Friday. This can be accessed by calling 9329 4238.

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.

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 moved online or postponed 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.

Subscribe to our e-VIBE newsletter for updates straight to your inbox.