In these difficult and volatile times AlburyCity’s number one priority - the health and safety of our people and everyone in our community – remains unchanged.
That commitment means we’ve taken several significant steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, in line with directives from the state and federal governments.
We’ve closed facilities and venues across the city, including the libraries, community centres, visitor information centre, the Albury Entertainment Centre, the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre and MAMA to help slow the spread of the virus.
You can go to our website for full a full list of closures.
It’s very important to note, however, that we’re delivering essential services as always, and that is planned to continue even if the virus situation worsens.
We’re continuing to collect and process your waste, maintain your water and sewer services, and to ensure that we’re here to listen and act upon your concerns. Although our Customer Service Centre in our Kiewa Street offices will be closed to face-to-face contact from tomorrow, our friendly team will be fully available to help you by phone, email or via our website.
We’re also maintaining our parks and gardens which remain open – although we do encourage anyone visiting our public spaces to closely follow all government guidelines on social distancing, personal hygiene and other precautions. Again, you can find handy links to state and federal health advice on our website.
Our roads will be maintained as usual and we’ll continue to provide animal management services as well as other important duties to keep the city functioning effectively.
Our Planning team will continue to work at a high level to process development applications in a timely manner and, in fact, we’ve recently introduced changes aimed at addressing our assessment time frames as well as introducing new technology to allow people to lodge development applications and complying development certificates online, through the NSW Planning Portal.
The team is also meeting with developers via video-conferencing to eliminate the need for face-to-face contact. These innovations will not only create greater flexibility but also make it easier for you to practice social distancing while lodging your plans.
Our Councillors have also taken a lead in helping our community through the emergency by resolving at their meeting on Monday night to include $50,000 in the upcoming draft budget to allow for the waiving of lease and licence fees for sporting and community groups that use council facilities.
As part of the same resolution, Councillors also decided to develop a list of ‘shovel-ready’ projects that could receive government funding assistance so that development can proceed quickly when circumstances permit. Our Council also acknowledges that the circumstances we’re in are changing rapidly and is very much open to considering other assistance and activation opportunities in support of State and Federal initiatives already announced.
Our Economic Development team has been liaising with local businesses to share resources and support services provided by governments, including details of the stimulus packages offered by the NSW and Federal Governments. You can read our latest electronic message to the business community here.
However, despite all of these efforts, the local, national and global economy has already taken a massive hit from the widespread business closures that are needed to help slow the spread of the virus, and worse could be yet to come.
The road to recovery will be a long one but it’s important to remember that this crisis will end, and when it does, we’ll be as well placed as possible to begin to rebuild businesses, restore jobs and return our lives to potentially a very different normal.
Times may get tougher before they get better but there is comfort in knowing that our community is a strong and united one. We’ll all continue to pull together to get through this emergency and as we work towards that recovery, please do continue to follow government guidelines to keep you, your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues safe.
In the meantime, we are here to help you. So, even as we continually reassess our operations to meet the requirements of the situation, please be assured that we’re operating as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible and that our people will be available to answer your questions as they arise during this challenging period.