There is no doubt we find ourselves in strange times with the Covid-19 (Corona) virus creating so much uncertainty. While there is still no case reported in Dubbo, it is important that everybody continue to play their part to prevent an outbreak.
You can rest assured your Council is doing everything it can to protect the community and is constantly communicating with the state and federal governments to stay up to date. The health of residents and staff is the number one priority, along with ensuring the continuation of critical services if and when the pandemic does reach Dubbo.
With a complete shutdown of non-essential services now ordered for NSW, there is a lot of work going into establishing how our region will operate in the coming days and weeks.
From a Council perspective, it is critical that there is no interruption to water and sewer provision, along with garbage collection and ranger services. These operations must continue regardless of the virus and staff are working hard to ensure this will happen.
Council will close the Macquarie Regional Library branches at Dubbo and Wellington, the Wellington Caves, Old Dubbo Gaol, all aquatic leisure centres and the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
Communication is the key and Council will continue to get its message out via our website, Facebook and through the local media to ensure everyone know what is going on.
Unfortunately I have had to discontinue my Meet the Mayor and Ask the Mayor opportunities as part of Council policy but I would still encourage anyone who has an issue to contact me via my email address, email@example.com or through my Facebook page.
There are some important things everyone can do during this time to minimise the impact of this virus and to ensure life remains as normal as possible.
The most important one is if you exhibit any symptoms of cold or flu, please self-isolate and keep contact with others to an absolute minimum. This should be standard practise anyway but it is even more important at the present time.
It is positive news that Council has been able to move from level 4 to level 3 water restrictions for the region. At this time where we need to be so careful with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is good that people will have more water to wash and it has been made possible by the recent rainfall. Residents can now use 320 litres per person per day.
It is important to say that this doesn't mean we should be complacent with our water usage. This move will hopefully provide some relief for local businesses and industries that were hit hard by the restrictions but we may need to go back to level 4 if more rain doesn't fall over winter. For this reason I have asked for a review of our situation in July 2020.