Unley News

Council COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update – message from the Mayor March 20

The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency that requires effective and responsive action to assist in preventing its spread and impact. 

This is an interesting and challenging time for us all, and I wish to reassure you that the wellbeing of our community and workforce is at the forefront of Council’s decision-making.

We need to be cautious, without inducing fear or panic, and considered in the way we respond to the current situation, with a focus on mitigating the risk and impact of the Coronavirus. The City of Unley is being guided by information and current directives from our federal and state governments, peak health agencies and medical experts to inform our decisions.

This week we have made a number of difficult decisions to limit access to Council facilities and suspend a range of Council programs and services.

Effective at close of business today (Friday 20 March 2020) the following will apply:
  • Unley and Goodwood Libraries closed. Library return chutes will be open to allow the return of items without entering the building
  • Unley Museum closed
  • Unley Swim Centre closed
  • Unley Community Centre closed
  • Fullarton Park Community Centre closed
  • Community Bus Service discontinued for the foreseeable future
  • Town Hall Hire – no new bookings will be taken for the Town Hall.
The Management Committee of the Goodwood Community Centre has determined that the Centre will be closed from 20 March 2020 – 01 May 2020. Clarence Park Community Centre will be closed from 12 pm, Friday 20 March 2020. Childcare services will continue to operate, and the Food Co-op will be open on Saturday 21 March before further review of its continuation occurs.

In reaching these decisions we have been very aware of the impact on our community. With this in mind we are considering alternative delivery models to ensure that we can provide services to the people who depend on them. We will communicate as soon as we have further details and will do our utmost to keep you informed regarding Council services.

As part of our business continuity practices, and to provide a safe work environment for our staff, we are applying recommendations in the workplace relating to social distancing, enhanced hygiene practices, cough etiquette, limiting gathering sizes and staying at home when unwell.

Our Customer Experience team is here to help if you need to do business with Council and remember that there are a number of ways you can transact with us. Unless it is crucial that you speak to us in person, we encourage you to complete your business by email, phone or online.

Payments and requests can be submitted via our Online Portal.

I know these are strange and stressful times for us all – what we are experiencing is unprecedented in modern times. We all have families and are concerned about their health and safety.

I would encourage you to not to get consumed by social media and general media coverage about Coronavirus. There is a lot or rumour and misinformation circulating which is not helpful and causing unnecessary concern for people. Refer to trusted sources for information to help you make sensible choices about what you need to do during this challenging time.

I want to echo the calls of our Prime Minister and Premier for calmness and kindness. The scenes of shoppers’ treatment of others and the stockpiling of goods is distressing and unnecessary and goes against our very principles as Australians.

This is the time we need to be thinking about our neighbours, particularly the more vulnerable members of our community who may struggle to obtain basic staples for living. It is a time for austerity, for clear heads to prevail, and to focus on what is most important to us; and invariably that is the health and wellbeing of loved ones, our families and close friends.

We continue to be guided by the advice and direction of the federal and state governments in our decision making and we are regularly referring to information available on the SA Health website and the Australian Government Department of Health website.

The Australian Government has a Coronavirus Health Information Line for you to call if you need specific medical advice on COVID-19 symptoms or requirements for isolation on 1800 020 080.

Please be considered and responsible in your own behaviour so that you are not unnecessarily impacting the health system, or those dealing with the crisis, unless you genuinely feel you need medical attention.

It is reasonable to be prepared for social and service restrictions to be in place for an extended and unknown period, but is also important to have faith that all levels of government, from your local Council, to state and federal arms, are working together to ensure all essential services and delivery of supplies will continue.

From my own perspective and from all the staff at the City of Unley, we apologise for these recent changes to service and any disruption they may cause. I thank you for your understanding and implore you to be thoughtful and kind as you traverse through the unknown waters ahead. We will keep you updated regarding any changes to our services.

Keep in touch with us if you need support and please look after one another.

Michael Hewitson AM, Mayor of Unley