Updated 12/02/2021 – 3.15pm

As with many of us, Council is keeping a close eye on developments as the COVID-19 situation evolves. In order to protect our community and our staff we are making some changes to the way we do things – and asking you to do the same. With recent changes as a result of confirmed community transmission in WA, the message remains to stay home if you are sick, and get tested if you have symptoms. High rates of testing allow cases in the community to be detected earlier and prevent onward transmission. People should get tested at the first sign of the mildest of symptoms. You can find out more about testing and test sites here. You can get the latest updates from the WA Health Department here.

What is the Shire Doing?

At this stage, we have made some operational changes:

  • Future public events will only be permitted in accordance with State Government guidelines; these are currently at Phase 4 lifting of restrictions
  • Social distancing and hygiene measures must be observed at all meetings
  • All Shire staff are working from the office
  • We have increasing disinfection of offices, facilities and vehicles
  • The Mingenew Recreation Centre, Turf Bar, Autumn Centre are open; bookings are essential and social distancing measures apply until Phase 5 lifting of restrictions (at this stage, no timeframe known) – contact the Shire prior to use
  • We are utilising the SafeWA app and paper contact tracing registers at our community facilities
  • The Mingenew Skate Park and all playgrounds are open
  • Camping grounds at Yandanooka Hall and Enanty Barn have reopened
  • Our library is open. If you wish to order a library card for online access, please call or email the Shire to request one.

With the help of the Mingenew CRC, we established the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative. This program still aims to connect those who are in isolation or otherwise need assistance with willing volunteers. You can read all about it right here.

Also, at Council’s 15 April 2020 Ordinary Meeting, a resolution was passed to give support to those who need it at this time:

It included the following measures by Council:

    • Adopt the Rates Hardship Policy (new) based on the WALGA template policy
    • Establishment of an Emergency Relief Reserve for the purpose of funding critical response and recovery activities related to a state-declared emergency impacting the Shire of Mingenew
    • Bringing forward eligible capital works and infrastructure spending, where appropriate and feasible
    • Prioritises Local Government spending with businesses and contractors located within the Shire of Mingenew
    • Implements business-friendly payment terms to support business cash flow
    • Considers grant programs or waiving fees and charges to support community and sporting groups for the 2020/21 financial year, including:
      • Waiving all venue and venue equipment hire fees (bonds and cleaning fees to still apply) for local sporting clubs, community groups and not-for-profit organisations

You can view the full minutes from that meeting here.

Contact Registers

From 6.00am on 2 February 2021, the list of businesses and public facilities that must maintain contact registers for WA Health Department COVID-19 contact tracing is increasing. You can learn more here.

Businesses or venues required to keep a contact register, include:

  • Food and licenced venues (restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, taverns, nightclubs)
  • Gyms, indoor sporting centres and pools
  • Places of worship and funeral parlours
  • Beauty and personal care services including hairdressers and barbers
  • Galleries and museums
  • Cinemas, theatres and other entertainment venues
  • Auction houses and real estate inspections
  • Community facilities, libraries and halls
  • Zoos and amusement parks
  • Function centres
  • Accommodation facilities that already have check-in arrangements in place (i.e. hostels, hotels, large camp grounds)
  • retail venues (including supermarkets, department stores, shopping centres, pharmacies, hardware and department stores) and retail components of other businesses where customers are physically present such as bank branches
  • commercial buses or vessels that can carry 12 or more people where different groups of people interact (party buses, wine and food tour buses, hop on/hop off tour buses, sightseeing tours, party/function boats, sightseeing/tour boats, private charter buses/boats)
  • public and private hospitals (visitors only – persons visiting patients, or attending meetings/lectures, couriers, and contractors)
  • takeaway food and beverage services
  • events with a COVID Event Plan (500+ patrons), and certain outdoor functions and gatherings under 500 people (e.g. weddings, corporate functions, fetes, festivals).

Designated businesses, events and venues will be required to collect the date, name, telephone number and arrival time of all patrons, staff, visitors and contractors that attend the premises, other than to collect takeaway. The contact register records must be kept for 28 days, and not used for any other purpose.

When COVID-19 is detected in the WA community, contact registers help to protect us all by enabling the WA Health Contact Team to quickly identify and assist anyone that may have been exposed to COVID-19. To help, the WA Government has developed a free app, SafeWA, which will provide businesses with a digital contact register system.

SafeWA is an efficient and safe way to record patron and visitor contact details where they can check-in, using the app.

Download the SafeWA app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store now.

Travel to Mingenew

The Shire of Mingenew has a relatively large proportion of residents at higher risk of serious outcomes if COVID-19 spreads in our Shire. Due to our size and location we also have limited access to medical facilities and essential services and resources, so we ask any visitors to ensure they are following appropriate social distancing measures, maintaining good hygiene and avoiding visiting if they are unwell. Please note:

  • Interstate travel restrictions can apply, check with the State Government for updates
  • Camping is available at the Mingenew Spring Caravan Park, Coalseam Conservation Park, Enanty Barn and Yandanooka.

We are a community that thrives on the business of travellers, and we welcome those who want to come and explore our magnificent part of the world, but the welfare of our community – particularly those vulnerable members – is a paramount priority for us, and we ask any visitors to be mindful of this.

What can I do?

To help to protect both our staff, and the community members that access our facilities, we ask that you only attend the Shire office where necessary, and do not come in person if you have:

  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Have travelled to a confirmed exposure site (a so-called “hotspot”)
  • Have been in contact with someone who has travelled to a declared hotspot and is displaying cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days

Instead of coming to see us, you should contact your healthcare professional first and ensure you receive a COVID-19 test, if required.

If you are unsure about whether a transaction you want to carry out can be done over the phone or online, please call ahead on 08 9928 1102 or email enquiries@mingenew.wa.gov.au. You might be surprised by the range of payments and licencing activities that can be completed over the phone or online.

Some licencing activities can also be carried out online at the Department of Transport website. This flyer has details on what you can do online with them.

The Shire website also has an abundance of information and a range of forms should you need further information.

There are also a number of ways you can protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you are required to – or are voluntarily – self-isolating, there are Federal Government guidelines that can be found here. Those who are at higher risk (e.g. the elderly or immunocompromised people) are very strongly encouraged to consider voluntarily self-isolating; access the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative if you need a hand whilst you’re in isolation.
  • Minimise non-essential travel as much as possible
  • If you know someone who should be self-isolating and is not, you are advised to alert the Police on 131 444.

What do I do if I'm feeling unwell?

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 or similar flu-like symptoms, you should contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080, your GP, Health Direct (1800 022 222) or Silver Chain 9928 1043. Midwest Aero Medical are holding in-person clinics weekly each Wednesday. They are also providing tele-consultation services. You can book in on 9956 8999.

Symptoms of Coronavirus may include:

  • a sore throat;
  • runny nose;
  • cough;
  • shortness of breath;
  • fevers; and
  • muscle or body aches.

The Federal Government has a COVID-19 symptom checker – you can try it out here.

To avoid spreading COVID-19, it is important that you call your health provider or hospital before attending so that they can safely manage your arrival.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call 000.

If you are unwell it is also important that you self-isolate to avoid potentially infecting those around you. If that is going to be a struggle for you, get in touch with our We’ll Help You in Mingenew campaign!

Where can I get more information on COVID-19?

We will continue to monitor this ever-evolving process and take our advice from government and health care professionals and we recommend others do the same. During this time, we urge people to remain alert – but calm – and to seek their advice and information from reputable sources. There is plenty of ‘fake news’ being circulated, so we suggest seeking advice from the following sources:

The Australian Government has released the Coronavirus Australia app, which you can download from both Google Play and the Apple Store.

Prefer social media? Here are some useful Facebook pages to follow for regular updates:

And here are some posters that might provide you with helpful information – feel free to share them:

The Australian Government has a COVID-19 Hotline that you can call:  1800 020 080.

The WA Government has also set up a phone service which is open 7am to 10pm: 13-COVID (13 26843)

How will my business be supported?

If you have a small business, this Federal Government webpage outlines the support available. You can also find advice on the WA Small Business Development Corporation website.

This document from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services gives a good summary of the various business and personal support measures on offer from the State and Federal Governments.

Businesses seeking to commence reopening will need to meet State Government requirements. You can learn more about these requirements here.

What other financial support is available?

The Federal Government has announced a range of financial assistance measures for families and individuals. You can find details on this ATO webpage.

If you’re a community group or not-for-profit being impacted, Lotterywest have announced $159m of support; you can learn more here.

This document from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services gives a good summary of the various business and personal support measures on offer from the State and Federal Governments.

How can I help others?

Finally, we would like to remind people to check in with each other – with a phone call, facetime or text message. The next few months may be challenging and isolating for some, and it’s important that we are looking out for those around us. If you want to get involved and volunteer to help those at risk or self-isolating, you can register for the We’ll Help You in Mingenew campaign.

We also strongly urge everyone to – where possible – buy local and help to support our local businesses through this challenging time.

The Australian Pyschological Association also has some helpful tips for managing COVID-19 related anxiety and helping to explain it to children. You can download that document here.

What other help is available?

Should you, or someone you know, be struggling there are also a range of services that can help, including:

Think Mental Health WA have established a COVID-19 support page with a range of resources. You can find a even more options on the Mental Health Commission website too.

What local services are still available?

Our local businesses are facing a difficult time as a result of COVID-19. Where you can, we strongly encourage you to support them during this period.

Mingenew IGA Xpress can offer phone and email orders (delivery available):  Call 9927 1021 or email dongaraigaorders@outlook.com.

Mingenew Hotel/Motel is open for take-away and sit-down drinks, meals and accommodation. Check their Facebook page or give them a call: 9928 1002.

The Mingenew Bakery is open with social distancing measures in place, you can call them 9928 1104.

Mingenew Post Office is providing mail delivery and collection and medication delivery. They are open regular hours with normal services operating. Mail collection from box with key is preferred.

Mingenew CRC  is open during business hours.

Mingenew Spring Caravan Park  is open for bookings; call them on 9928 1019.

Hinterland Collaborative are available by appointment. Contact them on 0428 651 489.

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