Council adopts new policies in response to COVID-19

Published on Friday, 1 May 2020 at 10:49:52 AM

At the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley’s Ordinary Council Meeting held on 28 April 2020, Council adopted a number of new policies in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including an Emergency Response and Recovery Policy and a Financial Hardship Policy.

Shire President, Cr David Menzel said the Emergency Response and Recovery Policy ensures the organisation is able to adapt appropriately to the current COVID-19 emergency.

“The Policy helps us respond in a manner which best supports the community and supports lead emergency and health agencies in response and recovery,” he said.

“Effective communication with residents, community based organisations, businesses and government will be critical in properly understanding impacts and ensuring that the Shire is providing the most effective support and response.

“As the Shire develops new ways to better respond to the community, it will be necessary to better understand localised impacts - upon families and individuals and a range of stakeholders.

“This will include the Shire undertaking a community impact survey which will seek information from individuals, business and community organisations with regard to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Cr Menzel said that Council also adopted the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy in recognition of the significant financial and economic challenges the local community and businesses face.

“Shire Officers have investigated a range of options to provide financial relief and assistance to the community in line with and in support of the position adopted by the WALGA State Council, taking into consideration the circumstances unique to our Shire,” he said.

“The Financial Hardship Policy will enable the Shire to provide financial relief to ratepayers and sundry debtors on a case by case basis as needed.”

Measures to provide financial relief and assistance that have already been implemented include the adoption of a 0% increase in the Rate in the Dollar for advertising and a 0% increase in Fees and Charges for advertising. Further measures are being considered as part of the 2020/21 budget process.

The risks related to the pandemic will continue to be monitored through application of the Shire’s COVID-19 Business Continuity Risk Framework and the ongoing review of essential functions and services as the pandemic continues to progress.

“Council also adopted modifications to the Corporate Business Plan to include a Business Continuity Service area to reflect the Shire’s activities relating to business continuity.

“This will help assess any event that could negatively impact upon Shire operations setting out contingencies to minimise potential harm to the organisation and community during adverse scenarios such as the pandemic.”

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley continues to take direction and advice from relevant State and Federal Government agencies during the ongoing global development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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