Following a meeting of the Mingenew Local Emergency Management Committee on 26 March, Council sought to reduce the amount of non-essential visitation and habitation in our Shire to improve the safety of our community – especially our more vulnerable residents. These measures were designed to support the regional movement restrictions that the State Government is implementing.
As these measures are starting to ease, we are also reviewing these measures with a view to reopening our Shire to visitors. We do ask all visitors to continue to observe social distancing measures, practice good hygiene and – if you are unwell – please refrain from visiting.
We do not make these decisions lightly. Mingenew – in a normal year – thrives on the many visitors that come to enjoy our wildflowers, beautiful breakaway country, clear night skies and welcoming locals. Fortunately, COVID-19 won’t impact our natural assets, and they will still be here as we emerge from this situation. The actions we are taking now are designed to ensure that our locals are protected. We want all of them to remain healthy, so that together we can welcome visitors back when it is safe to do so.
What’s the message?
- For non-residents looking to travel to the Shire: Please ensure that your travel is in accordance with State Government guidelines. If you are unwell, please avoid travel.
- For those at higher risk inside the Shire: Strongly consider voluntary self-isolation; the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative can help you get the essentials you need whilst in isolation.
- For everyone: To protect both yourself and the vulnerable in our community, please continue to avoid unnecessary travel, observe correct hygiene protocols, and maximise your social distancing.
Why are we doing this?
- Mingenew has a large proportion of residents who are at high risk should they contract COVID-19, and the wellbeing of our community is our paramount concern.
- We only have limited health services, and we want to ensure they are available for our community to access if and when they are required.
- As a small, rural town our access to essential goods and services is also limited, and we need to ensure that our community can get what they need.
What measures is the Shire taking?
- We have closed our public campgrounds at Enanty Barn and Yandanooka Hall, but these are in the process of being reviewed
- We have launched the We’ll Help You in Mingenew initiative to ensure those in isolation can still get groceries, mail, medication and other services.
- We commend our local businesses on the social distancing measures they have implemented to date and we are asking them to continue setting a good example and helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our Shire.
- See our COVID-19 page for more details.
How will this be enforced?
While Police and Rangers will have the ability to manage illegal camping, the Shire does not have powers to enforce our requests for increased self-isolation and greater social distancing. Some of the State Government distancing guidelines will be enforced by the Police.
In general, we are relying on our community and visitors to do the right thing in order to protect our more vulnerable residents. We all know – and care about – people who are at greater risk should they catch COVID-19, and we ask you to think about them when you plan your activities. The choices you make can make a huge difference, and we are trusting you to make sensible choices which consider the needs of the wider community.
How else can I help?
- Consider joining the ‘We’ll Help You in Mingenew’ campaign as a volunteer, there is plenty you can do to help (and some of it doesn’t even require leaving your house).
- Ensure you are getting your information from reputable sources; there is plenty of ‘fake news’ about COVID-19 out there, and it only increases worry and confusion. The Shire has a resource page which we are doing our best to keep updated. This page has links to reputable government information sources, as well as details on local health services and businesses.
- Above all, continue to look after each other. One of the greatest things about Mingenew is our community spirit and how we respond in difficult situations such as this one. Now, more than ever, that community spirit will help us to face this challenge and make it safely to the other side.