MEDIA RELEASE - COVID-19 Letter to the Community - 1st May 2020

Published: Friday, 1 May 2020 at 7:57:03 AM

To the Community: 

On behalf of Council, I would like to sincerely thank you for taking all the necessary steps to help our community stay safe under the current COVID-19 State of Emergency. 

What we know: 

  • There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Shire of Brookton. 
  • The past week has seen the relaxation of gatherings, and you can now have no more than 10 people at a gathering whether indoors or outdoors, however you must still observe the safe distancing requirements. 
  • Our public buildings, our sporting clubs, our museum and our playgrounds are still closed to the public. 
  • There is a heavy and regular Police presence on Brookton Highway, please do not undertake any nonessential travel as you will be turned around. 

What we don't know: 

  • Council, like the Community doesn't know how long the restricted movements will be in place for, all indications are we need to plan for 6 months of restrictions. 
  • Our Community may look very different when this all ends, we acknowledge that many businesses have been forced to close or are suffering reduced trade due to reduced travel and reduced community movements. 

What we are going to do: 

  • Council last night held a Special Council Meeting to adopt Budget Amendments, some of these are around our response to the COVID-19 and the request by the State Government that Local Governments look where they can to undertake Capital Expenditure that can stimulate local and regional economies as well as supporting the Community. This is just the first step in our plan for Recovery for BROOKTON, some of the measures passed last night were: 
    • Increasing our marketing budget to promote Brookton as we come out of the lockdowns. 
    • Bringing forward the construction of the Pump Track - Loop Track to this financial year, rather than waiting for 2020/2021. 
    • Undertaking emergency gutter repairs on Memorial Hall, whilst we undertake our due diligence on the options available before public Consultation. 
    • Undertake much needed repairs on our Works Depot. 
    • Bringing forward the changing over of three vehicles, where the purchase of those is to occur within the Wheatbelt. 
    • Our total capital stimulus for the remainder of this financial year is $610,000. 
  • In addition to this Council has been directed to the CEO to work with the administration to deliver a 2020/2021 budget that does not see an increase in the total rates collected from you the community from the 2019/2020 year. 
  • We have also said there will be no increase in the Shire of Brookton's Fees & Charges for 2020/2021, this does not include State Government Statutory charges, as we do not control these. 

What we need you to do: 

Continue to do what you have been doing, Stay at Home unless it is essential for you to leave, Stay in Brookton unless it is essential for you to leave. If you have not already, I strongly encourage you to download the COVIDSAFE app, this may well be the key for the easing of restrictions sooner than planned. 

Continue to look our for your neighbours, family & friends, the longer this goes on for the more likely we are to need each other more than ever. I am constantly reminded that there is no better place to be than in this crisis, than than in Australia, in Western Australia and in Brookton. 

Cr Katrina Crute - Shire President 

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