Check In and Chat

As we stay at home to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the isolation can be challenging.

Feeling lonely can affect people of all ages, especially when we are missing those day-to-day social interactions in our neighbourhood and may also be isolated from family and friends.

Wyndham City Council’s new Check in & Chat service is a phone chat service available to anyone in the community, who may be feeling lonely and would benefit from a regular phone check in and friendly chat.

The free service is an extension of Council’s existing Social Support Service for vulnerable and elderly clients, which provides regular social support and welfare checks.

Check in & Chat is a one-on-one phone chat service, where you’ll be paired with a friendly staff member for a regular chat at a scheduled time and day.

The service operates on weekdays, between 9am – 5pm and is open to all ages.

Staff can also help direct you to other resources and organisations for support, including crisis support, counselling, mental health services and family support.

With multilingual staff, the service is also available in languages other than English including Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin, Tamil, Tigrinya, Amharic, Gujarati, Konkani and Spanish.

Further languages are also supported through TIS National translating and interpreting service on 131 450 (just let them know you’d like to speak with Wyndham City Council on 9742 0777).

If you’re feeling like you need to connect with someone over the phone or you know someone who is vulnerable and could use a boost of support, please contact Council on 9742 0777 or complete the enquiry form.

Complete Enquiry Form

Community Counselling

The Youth Counselling Team are providing counselling support to all members of the community above the age of 12 during the COVID19 Pandemic.

The counselling service offered by Wyndham City Council Youth Services is a free and voluntary service for people over 12 years old who live, work or recreate in Wyndham.

Counselling can provide young people and community members with an opportunity to discuss and receive support on issues that may be affecting them.

The counselling sessions will be held via web-chat and/or phone.

If you are feeling like you are unable to keep yourself safe, please contact any of the following services immediately:

Kidshelpline (for 5-25 year olds) 1800 55 1800
Lifeline (all ages) 13 11 14

If you are worried about unhealthy, abusive or violent behaviour in any of your relationships, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or through online chat https://www.1800respect.org.au/

If in immediate danger, please contact 000 for urgent support.

More info

WYNLocal Economic Support Package

Council has endorsed a $5million WYNLocal Economic Support Package to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the community. There are 3 main components to the package and further details will be made available in the coming days and we work through the detail.

A $1.5million Small Business Grant Program available for small business – program details for Wyndham based businesses will be available shortly.

Rates, Fees and Charges Relief for Business – Wyndham City will defer council rates for businesses that fall within the category of commercial, industrial or farming and to benefit those businesses most in need. There will also be interest charge relief for 6 months to be applied from February 2020 for rates that are outstanding for the 2019/20 financial year and will be reviewed at the end of the six-month period.

Economic Strengthening and Community Development – this program will include relief for households for fees such as dog registration and how we can work with the community and business to keep local jobs.

Visit Council Agenda for full report

Support for Business during COVID-19

We understand the concern in the business community as Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects the ability of many businesses to continue trading, pay staff wages and ensure long-term viability.

A range of support is available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 with key contact information.

Visit our Support for Business during COVID-19 webpage

Food Premises and COVID-19

During this time it is extremely important that you continue to take extra precautions and follow advice given by the government to protect your food premises and the health of your customers.

How is COVID-19 spread?

Human coronaviruses are spread when someone infected with the COVID-19 virus comes into close contact with another person and exposes them to the virus through contaminated droplets. These droplets can be spread by coughing and sneezing or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.

How can you help prevent spread within your food business?

Although COVID-19 is not considered to be a food-borne illness, it can still be spread within your food premises if effective cleaning and hygiene measures are not implemented and maintained. To assisting in minimising the risk, ensure the following:

  • Regularly clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand rub. Be mindful to wash your hands after handling money or between customers.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or into your flexed elbow
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. Do not work if you are sick.
  • Practice cough etiquette (keep away from other people, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and clean your hands.)
  • Continue practice good cleaning and sanitising processes within your food premises which includes all food preparation surfaces, equipment, dining areas, utensils and crockery.
  • Introduce more frequent cleaning of shared surfaces. This may include door handles (entry/exit door, fridge/freezers, toilets/bathrooms), tables and chairs (arm rests or handles) salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowls, communal cutlery containers and EFTPOS keypads.
  • Additional information and posters on how to correctly wash your hands is available here;Keep Hands Clean and Food Safe

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Whilst it may be difficult sourcing cleaning supplies during this time please note that plain/unscented chlorine-based (sodium hypochlorite) household bleach can also be used as a disinfecting agent. The following link will assist you in understanding how to correctly clean and disinfect your premises and the appropriate dilutions for using bleach:

What if I change my business model?

If you intend to change your business model to offer additional or varying food products, for example frozen or packaged meals and delivery services, there are additional requirements regarding labelling and transportation that you must consider. Additional information regarding the requirements is available below:

You are still able to provide takeaway and delivery services, however you are strongly encouraged to implement the following:

  1. For takeaway: Take orders over the phone and call customers when their order is ready for pick-up. This will assist in social distancing and minimise the likelihood of large numbers of customers waiting inside or outside your premises.
  2. For delivery: Leave orders at the front door, minimise the need to come into physical contact with your customers.
  3. For payment: Minimise the exchange of cash, you are encouraged to use EFTPOS to accept payments to minimise physical contact with customers.

What if take-away or home delivery is not part of my usual business model?

If you are a registered café, restaurant or take-away business, you are able to provide delivery or take-away services, even if they were not part of your usual business model.

Please contact Environmental Health Services on 9742 0738 to discuss your proposal, but be aware that the following must be considered:

  • Your food safety program must be amended to suit the activities being carried out. If you are planning to prepare, cook and cool food items for sale later, you must update your processes to safely cook and chill the food.

Please see page 23 – 31 of the following document here: Food Safety Program Template

  • You cannot change the Class of your food business prior to discussing with Council; if you are a Class 3 or 4 business, you will need to speak to Council before changing to Class 2 or 3.
  • You must ensure you continue to keep temperature records.
  • If you are on-selling your food to other businesses, you will need to keep records for traceability, but also provide labelling to any packaged products.

You are able to produce your own food labels here: Labelling Requirements

  • All food must be prepared in an approved kitchen; you are not able to expand or move your food premises without Council’s approval.
  • Single-use food grade containers should be used.

Where can I find more information?

Financial Advice & Assistance

The Australian Government is providing fiancial assistance to Australians affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) which includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

Visit the Australian Government Financial Assistance website

Please see below, a list of websites and links providing detailed information if you have been affected.

How to register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment

If your employment has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can register your intention to claim a Centrelink payment

Visit the Centrelink website

Temporary early release of superannuation

The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. A factsheet is available to provide you with detailed information.

Download Factsheet

 

Community Support Services and Groups

Financial assistance options for City West Water customers

City West Water financial support programs provide tailored options to customers who need help with their water bill, including payment extensions, flexible payment options and assistance with access to government grants and programs.

They have a dedicated bill help web page with more information about these options for both residents and businesses.

We encourage customers to call our Customer Service Centre on 131 691 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm) to discuss the option that will best meet their needs right now.

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