Council too has had to adapt

David Braithwaite

WELLINGTON Shire Council has recognised the resilience of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Council meetings are not immune from restrictions, with the minimum number of councillors needed at the meeting, five, attending on Tuesday night, along with chief executive David Morcom.

Mayor Alan Hall, deputy mayor Gayle Maher and councillors Garry Stephens and Carolyn Crossley were apologies, with Cr Darren McCubbin appointed acting mayor for the meeting.

“Those councillors very much wish to be part of tonight’s activity, but we as a council decided to make the tough decision to just meet the quorum – that is five councillors – in the spirit of the way our community is working together to defeat this COVI D epidemic,” Cr McCubbin said.

“We thank those councillors for not being here tonight, but pleased be assured they have contributed to all of the discussions we’ve had.”

Cr McCubbin said council was proud of the way the Wellington community has been working hard to overcome the pandemic by following government guidelines.

“I know that it is incredibly difficult on businesses who are doing it hard, and indeed individuals, but I thank very much the members of the community for doing it,” he said.

Council has been coordinating with local health and human service providers to implement the shire’s pandemic plan.

“Currently, we’re working with health and relief services to build the capacity to respond to the COVI D-19 emergency,” Cr McCubbin said.

“Meals on Wheels and similar (programs) are also being ramped up to support vulnerable people and self-isolating people within our community.”

Council has established a COVI D-19 relief phone line, 1300 137 218.

“If anyone in the community has an issue that they wish dealt with that we could help with in any way, please ring us,” Cr McCubbin said.

“We have somebody on call, and we’ll be able to help you get connected with the relief services that you need.”

Changes have been made to council operations, with services adapting to the unusual times.

“Our libraries now have a ‘click and collect’ home delivery service,” Cr McCubbin said.

” They’re also running interactive children’s story times and Rock Rhythm and Rhyme,.

“Aqua Energy is offering long-distance fitness classes.

“The Wedge is leading a Gippsland Live Play project, and there are a couple of other exciting projects coming up.

“The Gippsland Art Gallery has created a term two education program, art teacher resources, and the gallery is also offering art classes and moving ahead with the John Leslie awards.”

Council has also committed to continuing its capital works program.

Many council staff have been working from home, while some have been redeployed within the organisation if their roles have been affected by changes in operations.