Kingston District Council takes safety measures against COVID-19

CEO: Council chief executive officer Nat Traeger said that would take any safety measures possible to protect residents while maintaining the operation of its office.
CEO: Council chief executive officer Nat Traeger said that would take any safety measures possible to protect residents while maintaining the operation of its office.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, Kingston District Council will "significantly modify" its services for key sites.

Council decided at a special meeting on Wednesday to close both of its Recreational Vehicle Parks immediately.

Elected members voted to keep the Kingston Foreshore Caravan Park open for "essential travellers" with council allowing essential travellers with self-contained RVs to access the unpowered sites for the same rate as the RV park.

Council will monitor the movement of Kingston's visitors to the caravan park and township with a travel declaration needed on arrival.

All future bookings at the caravan park have been cancelled until May 31 with council allowing its existing visitors to remain.

Other safety measures have been introduced at the caravan park with council closing its camp kitchens and fish-cleaning facilities, as well as enforcing increased cleaning and hygiene practices.

As of today, council has closed its office and visitor information centre to "face-to-face customers".

Mayor Kay Rasheed said council had put the well-being of residents first and stressed the importance of following guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading drastically,

She acknowledged this will be a difficult time for businesses.

"I urge everyone to respect the social-distancing measures that are now in place in order to protect everyone in our community and stop the spread," she said.

"That is why we have put new measures in place that will enable us to continue serving our community in the safest and most efficient way possible, while keeping our employees, elected members and volunteers as safe as possible.

"While the world is changing rapidly around us, our priority is to look after the safety of our community and staff."

Council stressed that it would continue to make this a major focus while working to provide "essential services" to support the community.

"We want to show compassion and be welcoming in a time of crisis, but we also need to offer reassurance to our community that we are putting safety measures in place," Ms Rasheed said.

Council chief executive officer Nat Traeger said that the organisation would take any safety measures possible to protect residents while maintaining the operation of its office.

"We are still here, working behind the scenes for our community and you can contact us by telephone, Facebook messenger, email or website submission, or arrange an appointment where absolutely necessary," Ms Traeger said.

Council has remained positive in making these choices, believing that in adapting to the current circumstances, they will ensure that there is "minimal service disruption."

Ms Traeger said council would look to recover quickly.

"We need to continue to look up, not down, and cast our minds forward, focus on not just the 'here and now', which is important, but on plans and strategies ready to help our community regain its strength and move into recovery when the time comes," she said.

Council has looked at ways to help the community, whether it be through deliveries, business support, signs, outreach programs, or welfare checks.

Residents were encouraged to share any suggestions with council.