A message from Mayor, Cr Chris Bilkey and General Manager, Des Bilske

Murray River Council would like to thank residents for the way they are responding to the ever-changing impacts of COVID-19.

A lot can happen in the space of a few weeks. The way we live is changing every day as the state and federal governments put measures in place to stop the spread of the virus. 

We are a social and active community. It’s hard to be told we can’t play a game of footy or netball, go to dance class or take the kids to the skate park or a playground. However, this is our reality for now. And we need to do as we are asked, not just for our own health but for the health of all those we love. 

It’s also for the wellbeing of our community, particularly that of our front-line healthcare workers, our police, ambulance, childcare, service roles and supermarket and retail staff. We thank all of you who work so tirelessly under normal circumstances, but never more so than during this time.

There’s no doubt this global crisis has also had a huge impact on our local economy, with a number of businesses having to temporarily close and many residents finding themselves out of work.  For the businesses that could, many have worked quickly to boost their online presence or to offer new delivery or collection services.

So we’d like to give a big shout out to our businesses who are trying to adapt during these uncertain times and even those working on new ideas behind the scenes while their businesses remain closed. We see you. It’s also been great to witness our business community band together, helping each other share the load of home delivery and value-adding not only to their own business, but of others within their communities.

So please, comply with the travel limitations and shop local whenever you can. We need to stay local now more than ever so that our businesses have the best chance of survival when we find ourselves on the road to recovery.

It is also important that we remember to check in on family and friends. As we all continue to live and remain physically isolated, some members of our community may become more anxious from not feeling connected to their wider community. A neighbourly phone call to offer a verbal wellbeing check may go a long way to reassuring an isolated or vulnerable person that support is available.

Our Community Services Team is working hard to provide information on additional support services to those in need. Grocery and meals on wheels deliveries, social support via phone or community transport enquiries are just a few of the things we are helping residents to connect with at this time. If you or someone you know needs a hand, the Community Services Team are available Monday to Friday 9 - 4pm on 1300 087 004 and very happy to take your call.

To support our community during these times, we also have a Rates and Charges Hardship Policy. The policy aims to provide rates support to individuals and businesses who are experiencing financial difficulties. We encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss the various options available to you. 

We also value the health and wellbeing of our staff during this time, and we thank them for adapting to the ever-changing working environment. We are implementing a range of measures to allow our staff to work from home or other locations to promote safe working environments. We are also rolling out the use of technology to encourage teams to work remotely but still collaborate online. This will ensure our critical services are maintained for the community.

Right now, you’ll still see our staff out fixing roads, footpaths and stormwater drains, maintaining parks and gardens, working on capital projects and our contractors are still collecting rubbish. Our planners are still assessing DAs and all our teams are working hard on the projects and initiatives that matter most to our residents.  Special precautions have also been taken to ensure the continued operation of water and sewerage treatment plants under any circumstance, as we all rely on these services.

Whilst some of our face-to-face services are closed, rest assured that we are still trying to service the community, just in different ways. 

Take care and look out for each other,

Your Mayor, Cr Chris Bilkey and General Manager, Des Bilske