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Coronavirus update

The City of Whittlesea plays a vital role in ensuring public health and has been monitoring all new information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority. Responding to advice from medical professionals and to comply with social distancing requirements we have closed several council facilities, made changes to Council services to ensure we keep delivering for our community, and cancelled events to help stop the spread of the disease.

Due to the rapidly changing situation, we continue to monitor operations and will keep you informed via this dedicated page.

You can also follow us on Facebook or our Whittlesea Unites Page.

Our customer service desk is currently closed. You can call us on (03) 9217 2170 or email us at info@whittlesea.vic.gov.au. If you need to pay an invoice, call us so we can talk with you about your payment options.

Contact us at feedback@whittlesea.vic.gov.au if you need assistance accessing any of the below information.

We can also help you access it in your preferred language - call 131 450 for support.

If you require the information in other formats please let us know.

Latest advice

Information on the easing of restrictions 

From 26 May, we reopened our playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment in accordance with the Victorian Government's easing of restrictions.

The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions throughout the state from 1 June 2020.

To keep yourself and your friends and family safe, there are key actions that Victorians are being asked to continue as restrictions are eased:

  • Keep your distance - 1.5 metres away from others
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Stay at home if you are unwell, and get tested if you have symptoms
  • If you can work from home, you must work from home.

All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria's Chief Health Officer and the continued management to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Restrictions until 31 May 2020

There are five reasons you can leave home:

  • shop for food and other necessary goods and services
  • access medical services or provide caregiving
  • attend work or education, where you can't do those things from home
  • exercise and participate in some recreational activities adhering to the rules
  • visit friends, family and loved ones while adhering to the rules.

From 12 May restrictions were eased to include:

 

  • Family and friends visit you at home – with up to five visitors being allowed into your home
  • Gatherings of people for the purposes of non-contact sport and recreation in public settings, such as National, State and public parks – with groups of up to ten being allowed to gather.
  • Small gatherings of up to 10 people at some indoor facilities such as places of worship and community centres – along with those required to run the facilities.  The four-square metre rule applies in these settings.

You must still keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practise good hygiene. 

If you feel unwell, even if you have tested negative for coronavirus, it is vital you stay at home.

Visit the Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer page to view the Stay at Home directions.

Report any breaches of social distancing requirements to Victoria Police's Assistance Line 131 444.

 

All individuals over 70 years old, 60 with a pre-existing medical condition, and Indigenous people over 50 years are advised to stay home as much as possible, as they fall within the highest risk category for contracting coronavirus.

 

Victorians with even mild symptoms are asked to get tested to help the government better track the spread of the virus.

 

Testing is available at the Northern Hospital in Epping and Austin Health in Heidelberg as well as mobile testing at Northland Shopping Centre.

Read more on the DHHS website.

Find testing locations

Yes. The CovidSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

About the COVIDSafe app

COVID-19 Hardship Policy

What is the COVID-19 Hardship Policy?

The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy provides relief to residents and businesses in the City of Whittlesea who are unable to meet their payment obligations to Council because of the adverse effects of the pandemic.

Who can apply for relief under this hardship policy?

This policy applies to sundry debtors, residents, business, clubs and commercial ratepayers in the City of Whittlesea.

Read the Hardship Policy.

Apply online.

Contact us on 9217 2170 if you need a hard copy form.

Does it include rates?

Yes. If you are having difficulty paying your residential or commercial rates, we can help you apply for a payment plan. If you are experiencing serious hardship, we will consider applications to defer rates during the pandemic, without incurring interest until 30 June 2021.

Why can’t you waive rates?

Revenue from rates, fees and charges pays for many of the services you receive from the City of Whittlesea such as waste collection, road maintenance, council facilities and public open spaces like parks and gardens.  We still need to collect rates, fees and charges to continue delivering on these services, and many more.

However, if you are experiencing hardship, we can help you enter a payment plan that is tailored to your needs.

For ratepayers experiencing serious hardship, a deferral of rates will be considered during the pandemic period with no interest incurred until 30 June 2021.

What does financial hardship mean?

Financial hardship refers to difficulty meeting everyday living expenses.  A person is in serious financial hardship when they are unable to provide the following for themselves, their family or other dependants:

  • food
  • accommodation
  • clothing
  • health care
  • education
  • other basic necessities

Are fines still being imposed?

It is our responsibility to ensure the City of Whittlesea is safe and accessible for all. While we are still imposing fines for doing the wrong thing, including parking in areas that are unsafe or restrict access, you may be able to apply for a payment plan or an extension of time to pay.

Can I have longer to pay my pet registration?

Yes. Payment for pet registration has been extended until 31 May 2020. If you are unable to pay by this date, please complete an application for a payment plan or further extension via our COVID-19 Hardship Policy.

How is the City of Whittlesea supporting local businesses?

We have a number of initiatives being rolled-out such as additional mentoring sessions and other programs that will support local businesses, which are also eligible to apply for relief under our COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy if they are unable to pay rates or other fees and charges on time.

Supporting community organisations

What does Whittlesea Community Connections do?

Whittlesea Community Connections has been providing vital services for disadvantaged people and emerging communities since 1973.

Why has the City of Whittlesea provided this organisation with money?

This organisation has a deep understanding of the needs of our community. It can help with practical support like food and other material necessities. By supporting them, we are supporting you.

What will $50,000 provide to our community?

These funds will provide hundreds of vulnerable people in our community with support they need right now. Anyone experiencing hardship in Whittlesea can contact Whittlesea Community Connection’s Response line 9401 6644 for help with food, financial assistance and casework support. Response line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm.

 

We have provided $25,000 from our COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to Big Group Hug in Bundoora.

Big Group Hug provides material relief to around 100 vulnerable children each week. It relies on volunteer help, donations and community fundraising which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about Big Group Hug.

Council has provided $18,000 to Encompass Care who are packaging and delivering food parcels and meals to those in the community who need support.

Read more about Encompass Care.

 

 

Council has provided financial help to a variety of community organisations who are supporting our local community:

  • Infinity Church - emergency food relief
  • Countrywide Community Missions - food relief
  • Hope Centre - food hampers
  • Sikh Community Connections - supporting international students and Sikh and Indian communities
  • ADRA - food hampers
  • From us 2 you - helping with fuel, power and work expenses
  • Heavenly Feast Revival Church Australia - food hampers in the Epping/Lalor area
  • Moreland City Council/Rooming House - care packs for people living in rooming houses in the City of Whittlesea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Caring for our aging community and people living with a disability is a high priority for the City of Whittlesea.

We are adhering to all government and health advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure essential services to these residents are delivered in a way that keeps our community and our staff safe and healthy.

Will I still get my delivered meals?

Delivered meals are continuing as normal. All clients have been contacted to discuss their current needs and the possibilities of delivering additional meals for freezing. To find out more about these services phone our Intake Officer on 9407 5935.

Can I still access home support?

This service is continuing as normal. We are calling clients to make sure they are ‘well / healthy’ enough to receive their regular service. To find out more about accessing assistance around the home, contact our Intake Officer on 9407 5935.

Can I still access support for carers?

All support for carer programs have been cancelled until further notice.

Are programs for seniors still running?

All events and programs have been cancelled to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes the Ageing Well Expo in June, and the following LEAP programs:

  • Seniors Exercise
  • Multicultural Cinema
  • Bus Trips
  • Golf Program Twilight Activity Program

Can senior’s clubs still meet?

Senior’s clubs are considered non-essential gatherings and are therefore suspended until further notice.

Are social support/planned activity groups still running?

This program has been suspended until further notice.

 

When do I have to pay my pet registration?

All pet registration payments have been extended until 31 May 2020.

We will still provide our usual ranger services, including picking up animals that become lost, and owners will not be penalised of they haven’t paid their registration yet.

Will rangers still collect my pet if it gets out?

Yes our animal ranger services are still operating.

How do I pay my pet registration if the Council office is closed?

You can pay online. Our customer service desk is closed to help stop the spread of coronavirus so we will be unable to take payments in person at this time. You can call us on 9217 2170 if you need assistance with this process.

How can I register a new pet?

Download the form and submit via email or post. We are unable to take payments in person at this time. We’ll be in touch once the coronavirus situation eases.

Are dog parks still open?

Yes. At this stage, dog parks in the City of Whittlesea remain open but they are being monitored to ensure strict social distancing and gathering restrictions are being followed? If not, Victoria Police will be notified and fines may be imposed.

Creative Communities Fund

We have launched a new grants program, the Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund, that has been designed to provide funding for creative projects to directly respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

Applications for round one close Monday 1 June.

Round two opens 1 July.

Read more about the grant program.

How do I contact the Building and Planning Team?

Many of our building and planning services can be accessed via this webpage. You can also email or post your building or planning application to us. If you have any difficulties, please phone 9217 2259, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm or email buildplan@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Community grants

We are committed to supporting local community groups and services.

One way we do this is through our annual grant programs where we support community groups deliver local projects and programs.

Like many businesses and organisations, we are adapting to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, we are reviewing a number of service areas to identify where we can provide the best support to our community in a rapidly changing environment.

How will the grant programs change?

We are reviewing our current community grants to assess the best way to provide value to the whole community which is also adjusting to the effects of COVID-19.

Our new grant program/s will be developed in consultation with the community.

What if I’ve already been told my grant application has been approved?

You will still receive your grant. However, if your group has been affected by the pandemic and you are unable to deliver the program that was intended, please contact the Community Development Grants Officer on 9217 2397 or community.grants@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

I’ve submitted an application, what happens next?

Our grants programs are now on hold while we assess the best way to provide value to the whole community as we all adjust to the changing environment.

In light of many groups having to suspended programs or change the way they operate, we also want to ensure your community group has time to develop activities and projects that will be successful post-pandemic.

We will contact you in coming weeks with more information.

How will the new grants program/s be developed?

We will engage with the community on a draft grants program and incorporate feedback where appropriate.

Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund

We have launched a new grant program, the Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund, that has been designed to provide funding for creative projects to directly respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Read more on our grants page.

What Council facilities are closed?

Customer service centres: closed

Community centres: closed

PRACC: is closed and all scheduled performances and events are cancelled until further notice.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library: all branches are closed

Pools and gyms: are closed

Sportsgrounds, playgrounds, skateparks, outdoor gyms and BBQ areas: closed 

Growling Frog Golf course: the course will be open from midnight Tuesday 12 May but the clubhouse will remain closed.

Neigbourhood houses: closed

Libraries: closed

Are Council meetings still going ahead?

Yes but to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we encourage people to enjoy the convenience of watching council meetings from the comfort of their own home. 

People can watch the Council Meeting live using the City of Whittlesea YouTube channel 

 

What Council offices are currently closed?

  • Civic Centre, 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang
  • Council offices, Westfield Plenty Valley
  • EDGE Youth Services, Westfield Plenty Valley
  • Epping Works Depot, Houston Street, Epping

Why are the offices closed?

We’ve decided to close the council offices to visitors based on the advice from the Federal and State governments regarding places of gathering and social distancing. We want to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

When will you reopen?

At this stage, we don’t know when we will reopen our offices to visitors. The health of our community and staff is our priority. We’ll be monitoring the advice from the Federal and State governments and reopen when it is safe to do so. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

How can I get in touch with Council?

We’re still working and providing many of our usual services. Please feel free to contact us. If you normally visit us at one of our council offices, we ask that you please use the self-serve options online, phone or email us.

Can I still exchange my sharps container?

Yes. When you arrive at the Council, call the number that’s on the sign at the front door. A staff member will then exchange your sharps container for you.

Have Council events been cancelled?

All events and gatherings have been cancelled until June.

Are citizenship ceremonies still happening?

No. Citizenship ceremonies have been cancelled until further notice as part of our efforts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Is the immunisation service running?

Yes. Immunisation is a critical service for our community. We will continue to provide immunisation sessions across the City of Whittlesea. However, strict rules that have been imposed by the Australian and Victorian government on good advice from health experts means that some of our venues are not appropriate for this service. As a result, we have made some changes that will ensure we continue delivering for our community.

How are immunisation services changing?

  • From Monday 6 April 2020, all bookings for public immunisation sessions will be done online
  • When you attend your session, social distancing measures will be enforced.
  • Some changes have to been made to the immunisation timetable with services at some of the locations suspended for the remainder of 2020.

Why are these changes occuring?

The City of Whittlesea, like most organisations, is adapting to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Immunisation is a critical service and we are making some changes to the way we conduct our public sessions to ensure we can keep our community and our staff safe.

Which venues will no longer have immunisation sessions?

The following venues are too small to be able to safely conduct immunisation sessions during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Jindi Family and Community Centre in Mernda
  • Lalor Library
  • Mill Park Community Centre
  • Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre in Doreen

As a result, immunisation sessions at these venues have suspended for 2020.

Where can people still receive immunisations?

Families can still attend sessions at:

  • Galada Community Centre in Epping
  • Mill Park Baptist Church
  • Council Civic Centre in South Morang
  • Mernda Village Community Activity Centre
  • Thomastown library

A revised timetable will be available online.

What additional measures are in place at the venues?

Once you arrive at the venue, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Wait in your car until your appointment time
  • One parent or guardian to accompany a child for their immunisation appointment

Please do not attend an immunisation session if you or your child:

  • is unwell in any way
  • have returned from overseas within the past 14 days (self-isolation period)

Workplace immunisation

Community immunisation is our priority. To ensure we can meet these needs as best we can, we have suspended our flu vaccination service for workplaces. You will still be able to receive a flu vaccine, once they are available, at a community immunisation session.

Even though community centres are shut, you’ll still be able to access them for immunisation sessions.

Flu vaccinations

We are holding limited flu-only vaccination sessions at Mernda, Mill Park, Thomastown, Epping North and South Morang.

Vaccines are $15 (pre-paid) for anyone who doesn't fit the government funded criteria.

You will need to book online.

 

 

Read more about public immunisations sessions.

Are kindergartens open?

Childcare and kindergarten may remain open if they choose. 

Contact your centre directly for more information.

More information is available on the Victorian Government's webpage.

How do I enrol my child in kindergarten?

Enrolment can be made by email, online or phone. Visit this webpage for more information.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library branches are currently closed.

Library members can still access books online via their eLibrary.

There are different apps you can download and use your YPRL to access ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, music and learning.

visit www.yprl.vic.gov.au for more information

 

 

How have Maternal and Child Health services changed?

From Wednesday 25th March all MCH services provided by the City of Whittlesea are now offered by phone until further notice.

This follows advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Home and centre visits will be replaced by a phone call from your MCH nurse at the booked appointment time. 

Where deemed clinically essential by your MCH nurse, short face to face consultations (of no more than 15 minutes) may go ahead.

Parents should be reassured that the evidence so far is babies and children under 5 years old are at a reduced risk of serious illness from coronavirus.

If you are concerned, please call the 24-hour MCH line on 13 22 29. 

Why has my MCH appointment moved to a phone consultation?

 To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised councils in Victoria to conduct all MCH appointments by phone until further notice. 

Will the MCH nurse call me?

Yes. Your MCH nurse will call you at your booked appointment time.  Please note that the call may come up on your phone as a private number. 

How does a phone consultation work?

The move to MCH phone consultations will still allow us to assess that your baby is growing and healthy and we will talk to you more about this at your first phone consultation.

How will you measure my baby's head?

Your MCH nurse can talk you through how to measure your baby’s head if you have tape measure.  However, this is only one indicator that your baby is growing and healthy.

How will you check my baby's weight?

If you have scales we will talk you through weighing your baby. Again, your baby’s weight is only one measure of its development and we will ask other questions that will help to assess your baby’s health and well-being.  A short face to face consultation (of no more than 15 minutes) can be set up if it deemed clinically essential by your MCH nurse.

What about newborn babies?

Your hospital will discuss follow up appointments with you when you are discharged.  When your baby is between 10 to 14 days old, you will be contacted by our home visiting coordinator who will discuss and arrange MCH phone consultations with you.

Please note, that to protect the health and wellbeing of parents, babies and staff, first time parent groups are not going ahead.

Where can I go for breastfeeding help?

f you have any concerns regarding your baby’s feeding, please call Council on 9404 8888 to make an appointment for a phone consultation with a lactation consultant.  Breastfeeding drop in sessions will not run, but again you can ring and schedule an appointment to speak to a lactation consultant. 

You can also call  the 24-hour MCH line on 13 22 29. 

Is there an app I can use?

There is an excellent Maternal and Child Health App that you can download. This will allow you to plot your baby’s growth and weight and your MCH nurse will be able to talk you through using this. 

Here's more information about the app:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/maternal-and-child-health-app

How do I apply for a disability parking permit?

Applications can be sent to us by mail, or scanned and emailed to us.

How do I make a payment?

Most payments can be made on this webpage or by posting a cheque or money order. Building and planning payments can be made over the phone: 9217 2259.

Are playgrounds and skateparks closed?

From Tuesday 26 May all playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor gyms will be reopened. People should not gather in groups of more than 10 and stay 1.5 metres apart from other where possible.

This number will increase to 20 from 1 June.

Barbecues in parks remain closed.

Are sportsgrounds closed?

Yes

What about sporting clubs?

From midnight on Tuesday 12 May, sport and exercise can resume if:

  • you can keep your distance (at least 1.5 metres apart), you are not doing your activities indoors and they are not competitive, and
  • you can do them with a maximum of 10 people.

Sport and exercise can be part of a club but you cannot use club facilities, except toilets.

Any club sanctions training, practice or physical activity will need to adhere to the relevant State Sporting association guidelines. To date only Golf Australia and Tennis Victoria have released such guidelines.

Which parks are closed?

Most Parks Victoria parks have been reopened. 

To find out more visit their website: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/

Why is mowing and gardening still continuing?

Council is continuing to provide essential services including maintaining our City. This includes mowing, where social distancing rules can be applied.

Is my kerbside collection still continuing?

Yes, it is an essential service. 

We know there are more cars than usual parked in local streets right now with many people working, or just staying, at home. To help our drivers get to your bins, please make sure they are placed on the kerb away from any obstructions.

Is the rubbish tip still open?

Hanson’s Wollert Landfill reopened to the public from Friday 1 May. The facility will only accept card (no cash) and will record, but not physically hole punch rates notice vouchers.

If you are unwell, do not attend.

The recycling facility at 480 Cooper Street Epping was closed to the public from Wednesday 25 March.

These changes do not affect kerbside bin collections.

What about hard waste collections?

There is not change to our hard waste collection service at this time.

Information for business

The outbreak of Coronavirus is causing economic disruption in many sectors including tourism and hospitality, education, entertainment, property, resources, and international supply chains. The below information aims to help City of Whittlesea businesses navigate the latest support available. You can also read more on our business support webpage. 

Ensure you keep up-to-date with the Commonwealth's Support for business in Australia and the State Government's Coronavirus business support websites.

Jobseeker

The most recent support available is the Jobseeker Payment initiative. Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy to continue paying their employees.

As part of a $1.7 billion economic survival package, the Victorian Government has announced $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Applications are now open online.

Business Victoria finder

Business Victoria has launched a new finder to help businesses, sole traders, apprentices, trainees, or employees identify support or financial assistance available during the COVID-19 pandemic

Free training program

The Victorian Government has launched a new platform Upskill My Business which provides businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with free access to online  short courses and training events.

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or visit the Upskill my Business website.

Business impact survey

We are wanting to understand the ongoing issues faced by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This data will help us design programs and support packages to meet the changing needs of the business community in the immediate aftermath and into the recovery phase of the pandemic.

You can fill out the survey online. It will take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Business support service

Council’s Business Engagement Officer can help connect businesses with a variety of support available from Local, State and Federal Government and across industry. Call 9217 2278 or email business@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Mentoring
Free mentoring sessions will be provided by the Small Business Mentoring Service and Box Hill Business Enterprise Centre. Please apply via email to business@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Webinars

If you missed our recent webinar series, or would like to learn more about gaining new skills or thinking for your business, you can view all the recordings on Council's YouTube channel.

The webinars have covered topics such as online networking, managing cashflow, mental health, business planning and more.

Coming up:

Gov 4 U webinar - 3 June 2020

This webinar is ideal for entrepreneurs, new business start-up, or an existing small business looking to grow or embrace new markets in a post-coronavirus world. This session will include representatives from the AusIndustry, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and Small Business Victoria who will provide advice and support. Topics covered will include the range of grants, programs, advice and information.

Find out more or register online.

Email Rebecca Ganicoche, Business Engagement Officer for more information.

Facebook promotions
We are currently promoting local businesses on our ‘South Morang Farmers and Makers Market’ Facebook page. We aim to let the community know alternative ways to engage your business. Please email Amy Berthelot, South Morang Farmers and Makers Market project officer, if wish to participate

Encouraging local residents to support local businesses is crucial than ever before. If your food or hospitality business is still trading and you've implemented new ways of working, i.e.; home delivery, then let us know.

We are listing our food and hospitality businesses on Council's Whittlesea Tourism website. To have your businesses included, tell us your;

  • Business name
  • Address, phone number and website or Facebook link
  • Brief description of your business and any special offer

Send these details, with a photo that represents your business to business@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health information

What can I do to protect myself from infection?

Practise good hygiene:

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and try to quit smoking.
  • Don't wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Try and buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60% alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot.
  • Avoid shaking hands and other physical contact, if possible. The advice is to remain 1.5m away from another person.

Practise social distancing

Follow the limits for public gatherings

Understand how to self-isolate if you need to

Where can I learn more?

World Health Organisation has updated international information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19?

The most reliable information on the coronavirus can be found on both the Victorian and Australian government’s websites.

Victorian Government 
www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
1800 675 398

Australian Government
www.health.gov.au or www.australia.gov.au
1800 020 080

There is a self assessment tool available on the DHHS website which helps assess if you are at risk of COVID-19.

Download the Australian Government's information app:

Join the Australian Government's WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

Download the COVIDSafe app:

NURSE-ON-CALL puts you directly in touch with a registered nurse for caring, professional health advice around the clock. Call 1300 60 60 24 from anywhere in Victoria for free health advice 24 hours a day.

Information for people with a disability

There is now a Disability Information Helpline you can call on 1800 643 787 for all kinds of coronavirus-related help and information.

The hotline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.

 

Advice to participants on accessing low cost Assistive Technology

The NDIA is working to ensure our participants are able to continue accessing NDIS supports and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many providers and Allied Health professionals are providing services to participants in innovative ways, using tele-practice or telehealth.

Participants who do not have a smart device or other equipment are able to use their funding flexibly to purchase a device to support the continued delivery of NDIS services.

Participants can use their NDIS funding to purchase low cost assistive technology items if:

  • the item will maintain the provision of other funded NDIS supports, and
  • the participant does not already have the item, another suitable item, or access to purchase the item through other means, and
  • the item has not been funded by another service system such as education or health.
  • This flexibility will help our participants stay connected to providers.

It is important to note that funding should only be used to pay for items relating to a participant's disability needs and not daily living expenses.

Daily living expenses like groceries, rent, bills (including internet charges) are a personal expense.

You cannot use your NDIS funding to pay for day-to-day items.

Further information will be provided to participants on how they can access these items will be provided in the coming weeks.

For further updates on the National Delivery COVID-19 response, visit the National Delivery Response intranet page.

More participation information is available on the using your budget page on the NDIS website.

If you are an NDIS participant and have not received a code call 1800 800 110.

Visit the priority home delivery services webpage to learn more.

NDIS have updated the COVID-19 pages on their website to ensure the information is available in a range of alternative formats see links below:

Resources

What support is being provided to vulnerable people?

We are finalising a package of support for those considered the most at need in our community. So far, we have provided mothers requiring enhanced maternal and child health services with access to the internet so they can continue to be supported at this time. More initiatives will be announced soon.

Will community groups and sporting clubs receive support?

We are currently reviewing our existing Community Grants Program to ensure it will best meet the changing needs of our community, which is facing unprecedented challenges. The program will be developed in consultation with the community. Further relief for community and sporting groups will be announced soon.

 

Coronavirus information for Aboriginal communities: DHHS

Health.gov.au resources

Headspace Greensborough and South Morang are continuing consultations via phone and zoom. Call 9433 7200 or email headspacegreensborough@mindaustralia.org.au

Lifeline has Mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus advice on their website.

Whittlesea Community Connections has a new response number for anyone experiencing hardship, needing information or support. Call 9401 6644 from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday.

Free legal assistance is available through Whittlesea Community Connections on 9401 6655 from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday.

If you would like to volunteer or you feel isolated and would like a phone friend call Whittlesea Community Connections volunteer line on 0473 019 831 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Food Collective and Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network

Any offers of food donations an be sent to Ginette Beguely on 9401 0666 or  GBeguely@whittleseacc.org.au

 

Check in on vulnerable community members

In times like this it is important that we band together and provide support for our most vulnerable community members, such as the elderly and those with disability.

While the message is to practice self-isolation, there are some simple ways you can still help out your neighbours.

If you know someone who might be in need, you can create a calling card you can drop by their house offering simple things such as picking up supermarket items for them or simply having a chat over the phone.

Shop local

Here's a list of local restaurants offering takeaway and delivery.

Download COVID-19 flyers