Council community support package #1

Hobsons Bay City Council has released a support package to assist some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, as well as small businesses who may be struggling from the impacts of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Also incorporated in the support package is consideration of our community’s wellbeing including alternative ways to deliver core services such as libraries and youth counselling and ways to connect or maintain our mental and physical wellbeing.

Boosts for small business and the local economy

The local economy, and especially the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, are already feeling the impact of the global pandemic. Council will put measures in place to relieve some of the financial burden on the small businesses that operate within our community in this trying time.

  • Small business operators experiencing hardship can apply for a deferral on their rates payments to relieve their cash flow pressures.
  • Council is establishing a crisis support mentoring network for small businesses.
  • Council is waiving all paid parking in currently metered areas across Hobsons Bay for the next 90 days, active as of Monday 23 March. Time restrictions will still apply. 
  • Local businesses who are responding to the needs of the community by altering or extending their services will be publicised on the Hobsons Bay Business website, and social media channels.
  • Deliver online business engagement forums where possible.

Supporting our older and/or vulnerable communities

Council is maintaining regular contact with its existing clients to socially connect with them and carry out welfare checks. We are able to expand this offering to capture more isolated people who may be struggling in getting their basic needs met. If you know someone who is vulnerable and could use a boost of support, please contact Council on 9932 1000 or email us at customerservice@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au 

  • Food Services will continue to deliver ‘meals on wheels’ to registered residents, combined with wellbeing checks and the provision of toilet paper for each client.
  • Eligible new clients wanting to apply for meal delivery services will be fast tracked.
  • Youth counselling will continue via an online/skype service model.

Promoting recreation and ways to maintain our personal wellbeing

The ability to connect with other people is gradually becoming more difficult as non-essential gatherings are cancelled, venues close and some residents need to self-isolate. Council will bolster alternative ways to provide activities, engage with programs and support people’s wellbeing. 

     A) Library services home deliveries and online collections / engagement

Although the libraries have shut their doors and we have cancelled face to face consultations and events, Council will deliver services a little differently, while still providing ongoing employment for our casual staff.  These measures include:

  • ‘Book a book’ library home delivery service.
  • Access to electronic books and phone service support.
  • Storytime at the Library presented LIVE on the Hobsons Bay Libraries Facebook page.
  • Increased sessions via Facebook live, Facebook Q&A and live chat rooms on Participate Hobsons Bay.
  • Deliver or support the promotion of online recreation and wellbeing classes where possible.

With library venues remaining closed, loan times have been extended, and return chutes will remain open. Library staff will be answering phones between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday to reset pins for online access, provide over the phone support for book borrowing, or to answer any other questions. Alternatively, customers can email library@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

     B) Parks and Open Space

We know that many local sporting clubs have also needed to close their doors, cease training and delay competitions.  Whether you are a member of a sporting club or simply an individual who likes a short walk, we want to encourage people to step out and enjoy some of our great open spaces, as long as the state and federal government guidelines of social distancing are followed.

Places like Newport Lakes, 100 Steps, the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail, as well as our many shared trails, dog off lead parks and sporting fields are perfect spots for families to stretch their legs, get some fresh air and to connect with nature.  More information about Hobsons Bay parks and open spaces can be found at https://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Community/Parks-Conservation

For more information on changes to Council services, Council’s community support package, and a list of FAQ’s, visit https://www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/Coronavirus