Council Happenings

COVID-19
The far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has not missed Dungog Shire.  Following the downturn experienced as a result of the extreme summer bushfire season, our community is feeling the consequences of these ongoing circumstances.

While the impact on many businesses and the broader community has been significant, Council is doing everything we can to provide access to information and support our businesses and residents through this unprecedented situation.

Council continues to provide the majority of services to our community, and is operating in accordance with Public Health Orders, with the health and safety of our staff and the broader community in mind.  For a full list of closures to council facilities and updated operating conditions please see: dungog.nsw.gov.au/council-services-and-covid-19

Open for Business and Here to Help
Council’s Administration Building continues to be open from 9am to 11am on Tuesdays and from 1pm to 3pm on Fridays.  We ask anyone visiting us during these times to please adhere to social distancing requirements for the protection of our staff and other customers.

Council can also be contacted via phone (02 4995 7777) or email (shirecouncil@dungog.nsw.gov.au) and we are happy to assist with any enquiries via these channels. Where possible, we request residents contact us via these methods.

Development Applications and Construction Certificate Applications continue to be processed and can be lodged by email with payment made by card over the phone.

Council Meeting
Council will meet on Wednesday 22 April, with the majority of councillors participating in the meeting via video link to minimise the number of people present in the Council Chambers.

Members of the public are invited to listen to the meeting or to participate in the public participation session via video link. The meeting will be streamed live through Council’s facebook page.

Following the meeting, proceedings will be uploaded to Council’s website: dungog.nsw.gov.au

Dungog Chronicle Closure: Stay Informed
The Dungog Chronicle has ceased publication until at least 29 June.  In the absence of a newspaper within the Dungog Shire, Council will be utilising the Newcastle Herald to communicate with our community, both in fulfilling our statutory requirements and in disseminating information.

We have engaged a Communications Consultant on a 3-month tenure to help us disseminate all information as quickly and effectively as possible, particularly in relation to any changes occurring as a result of COVID-19.

To stay informed, we recommend:

  • Sign up to receive Council Happenings direct to your Inbox each week or forward this email to a friend you know might be interested.
  • Connecting with us via Council’s official Facebook page: facebook.com/dungogcouncil
  • Visiting Council’s website for regular updates: dungog.nsw.gov.au
  • We are also hoping to make hard copies of Council Happenings available to those with no online access. The Gresford News, Paterson Post and Clarence Town Sentinel will also all be used as a means of communicating with our community.

Hardship Policy
I have previously shared details of Council’s Hardship Policy with you all. Any ratepayer who is having difficulty in meeting their rate payments, the fourth instalment of which is due 31 May, should make contact with Council and if appropriate make application under the hardship policy. Details and application forms can be found at: dungog.nsw.gov.au/hardship-policy

Helpful Resources
Council has put together a COVID-19 Information and Advice portal for residents and business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Other helpful resources include:

JobKeeper Payment
Employers need to take steps now to be eligible and ready to receive the JobKeeper payment when it commences in May. Visit: ato.gov.au/JobKeeper

Cash Flow Boost
From 28 April 2020, eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations will receive a tax-free cash flow boost of between $20,000 and $100,000 through credits in the activity statement system when they lodge their activity statements up to the month or quarter of September 2020. Visit: ato.gov.au/cashflowboost.

Small Business Support Grant
If your small business has suffered a decline in turnover of 75% or more, as a result of the impact of the Public Health Order 2020 issued on 30 March you may be eligible for a grant of $10,000. Visit: service.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-help-small-businesses

Contact
During this trying period contact can be difficult, but I am always willing to receive emails or phone calls from residents who have issues they wish to raise.  

If you know anyone who would like to receive regular updates from council please forward this to them and encourage them to submit their email address to regularly receive direct updates.

We’re all in this together.

John Connors

Mayor
Dungog Shire Council