Friday 3rd April 2020 Update: PROTOCOL BEING DEVELOPED TO PERMIT ESSENTIAL WASTE TIPPING FOR RURAL RESIDENTS

On Wednesday, Council suspended domestic tipping at the Muswellbrook Waste and Recycling Facility and the Denman Waste Transfer Station. The kerbside domestic waste collection service (the bin pickup service) continues as normal. Council noted that in making the announcement, the decision would have an impact on residents who did not have access to the kerbside waste collection service – particularly rural residents. We indicated we would work with NSW Police and the Area Health Service to find a solution to that issue and this release outlines the further measures we have put in place to deal with that issue.  

Importantly, the suspension of domestic tipping was to ensure long term continuity of the domestic kerbside collection service and to ensure that residents were not leaving their home for non-essential reasons (something that may be in breach of the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020).  

Both the NSW Police and Area Health Service have confirmed their view that except for health and hygiene reasons, journeys from a person’s home to the Muswellbrook Waste and Recycling Facility and the Denman Waste Transfer Station are non-essential.

Council will therefore develop a protocol to permit people who do not have access to a weekly kerbside collection to dispose of putrescible and other waste that presents a health or hygiene risk at the Muswellbrook Waste and Recycling Facility. Council is endeavouring to have arrangements in place following the Easter long weekend. 

Council understands that these arrangements will cause considerable inconvenience but they are necessary in order to ensure the health of our community. In the coming weeks, Council hopes to be in a position to bring forward some additional bulky waste kerbside collections to reduce inconvenience for residents in these challenging times.

 

Tuesday 31st March 2020 Update: HOUSEHOLD WASTE DISPOSAL AT MUSWELLBROOK WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY SUSPENDED

Council has temporarily suspended household waste disposal services at Muswellbrook Waste and Recycling Centre and Denman Transfer Station from 1 April, 2020 until further notice. The suspension of public access will be reviewed on a two weekly cycle.

The facility is being temporarily closed as a precautionary measure to reduce physical contact between people, including Council staff. A public health order issued by the NSW Government is now in place to enforce social distancing rules and minimise situations for people to gather.

Kerbside collections will continue as usual and Council encourages the community to use the bins to dispose of garbage, recycling and garden organics as normal. For the upcoming Easter period kerbside collection will be deferred by ONE DAY to accommodate the Easter Monday public holiday. Therefore Monday’s collection area will be serviced on Tuesday and so on, with normal service resuming on Monday 20 April, 2020.

For those in the community who do not have access to a kerbside waste collection service, a number of options are being considered. Information relating to this will be provided over the coming days.

The re-use shop at the Muswellbrook waste management facility is also closed until further notice.

 

COVID-19: UPDATES AND IMPACTS ON COUNCIL SERVICES

Muswellbrook Shire Council is taking action in the interest of the health and wellbeing of the community in response to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Council has a duty of care to the community and staff and we are committed to taking whatever action we can to prevent the spread of the virus in our region.

Slowing down of the infection rate is a priority and the most effective approach is through ‘social distancing’ which includes avoiding crowds, meetings and gatherings, staying home if you are sick, working from home, giving people ‘space’ and most importantly practising good personal hygiene.

Council is taking preventative measures within its operations to safeguard staff and the general public. Non-essential meetings will be cancelled or held online or by phone and staff are being told that they should not attend work if they have symptoms of cold or flu.

CANCELATIONS AND CLOSURES

Muswellbrook Shire Council is temporarily closing all playgrounds and a number of its sites and facilities as a precautionary measure in the interests of public health. We are taking measures to reduce the risk of contact with COVID-19 and to promote social distancing. This includes limiting physical contact between people including Council staff. Many Council services will still be available online or over the telephone.

ALL PLAYGROUNDS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

From 27 March 2020, Council will close all playgrounds and erect notices of the closure. Council regrets the impact of this important precautionary measure, however it is necessary to protect the community’s children and their parents. Shared pathways, cycleways and open green space will remain open, with social distancing in place.

ADMINISTRATION CENTRE TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Administration Centre will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday, 27 March until further notice. Staff will still be available to assist you by telephone or email during normal working hours - 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. An out-of-hours answering service for urgent Council matters is available on 6549 3700.

Customers are asked to call Council by telephone on 6549 3700, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au to access the Online Service Portal. Bill payments can also be made over the phone, through the Online Service Portal or by using BPay.

If there are issues that cannot be resolved remotely, please contact Council to make an appointment to make other arrangements.

Council is currently working on plans to provide flexible services, including library outreach and deliveries.

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:

  • Libraries – Muswellbrook and Denman. Visit www.uhrl.nsw.gov.au to access eBooks and more online or call Muswellbrook Library on 6543 1913 for assistance.
  • Muswellbrook Aquatic and Fitness Centre
  • Denman Memorial Pool
  • Visitor Information Centres (VICs) – Muswellbrook and Denman
  • Muswellbrook Indoor Sports Centre
  • Denman Indoor Sports Centre
  • Denman Memorial Hall
  • Stan Thiess Centre
  • Sporting venues for group and organised activities. You can still take the dog for a walk or kick a ball around with your kids, just keep up the social distancing and hand washing.
  • Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre
  • Senior Citizens Centre
  • Karoola Off-Leash Dog Park
  • All Council Departments: Access will be by appointment only and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

CURRENTLY OPEN with restrictions:

  • Muswellbrook Animal Shelter will remain open with strict adherence to social distancing. Residents must contact the Animal Shelter Co-ordinator on 6549 3777 to make an appointment to view, adopt, surrender or collect any animals to ensure safety for the general public and Shelter staff. All animal related payments can be made at Council’s Administration Centre by appointment only, to make an appointment please call Council’s Administration Centre on 6549 3700.

PUBLIC TOILETS REMAIN OPEN

  • Council’s public toilets will remain open at this stage. Council will increase the frequency of cleaning of these facilities. Users are urged to bring toilet paper, as Council cannot guarantee that the toilet paper provided will not be stolen.

Upper Hunter Regional Library

Please be advised that under State Library NSW guidance, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 we have decided to cancel all public events at the Muswellbrook and Denman Libraries including story time sessions, brain training, lego club and crafty hour effective from 19th March 2020 until further notice.

Muswellbrook Shire Council understands that the uncertainty of the current situation is unsettling and will endeavour to provide information as it is made available.

Muswellbrook Shire Council encourages the community continue to visit the Library Network website where the community has to access electronic resources from home including eBooks, digital audio books and digital magazines.

If you are isolated and are having difficulty accessing these services or wish to renew your loans please call the Muswellbrook Library on 6543-1913 and we will assist you over the phone. 

Cancellations

Easter Family Fun Day has been cancelled.  Council will no longer make the Denman Memorial Hall or Stan Thiess Centre available for hire and Seasonal and Organised Sporting Activites and Event Hire have been suspended at all Sporting Facilities and Grounds until further notice.

No cash payments will be accepted at any Council facilities (payment by card or cheque only) including at the Waste Management Facilities and Administration Centre.

Council is currently working on a range of strategies to deliver services remotely or to vulnerable people and those in self-isolation.

Council is continually assessing the situation and will advise of any change in services as soon as possible.

Further information about NSW and Australia-wide arrangements can be found here:

https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-updates

https://www.australia.gov.au/

For health advice on COVID-19 go to: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources

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