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COVID-19: How Council is responding

Last updated: Friday, 27 March 2020, 7:30pm

City of Parramatta Council is committed to the safety of its community, staff and visitors. Council is following the advice of NSW Health and the State and Federal governments in relation to the delivery of events and operation of facilities.

Staff are closely monitoring the situation at hand and responding accordingly.

General Information

Residential Support

Business Support

 

COVID-19: General Information
  • Major Events

    The City of Parramatta and its partners operates a number of major public events. Known event cancellations and postponements are listed below. 

    • Winterlight July 2020, Prince Alfred Park - cancelled
    • Sydney Writers Festival, April-May 2020, Parramatta and Wentworth Point locations - cancelled
    • Parramatta Farmers Markets - Weekly Fridays - Centenary Square - cancelled 

    Centenary Square will still be open to the public however, activities such as music performances, table tennis and food trucks, have been suspended. Tables, chairs and children’s play equipment will not be available.

    Inform City of Parramatta of a cancellation
    Civic Events

    The City of Parramatta operates a number of Civic events including Citizenship, workshops, forums and community drop-offs. Known event cancellations and postponements are listed below. 

    • Citizenship Ceremonies - cancelled. Residents who have enquiries regarding their Citizenship Ceremonies are asked to contact the Department of Home Affairs for more information 131 880.
    • Telopea Family Fun Day and consultation for Sturt and Acacia Park upgrades - postponed
    • Epping Family Fun Day - postponed
    • North Rocks Family Fun Day - postponed
    • Rosehill Family Fun Day - postponed
    • Warami – cancelled
    Inform City of Parramatta of a cancellation
    Community Events

    The City of Parramatta regularly publishes details of community events organised by Council, the public or third party organisations. Below is a list of known cancellations or postponements. 

    • Art Month Precinct Night 'SLOW BURN' – Friday 27 March - cancelled 
    • NRMA Brighter Futures, June 2020 - cancelled
    • Bushcare Group meetings and activities postponed until May
    • The School Holidays Program - cancelled
    • Active Parramatta Fitness Program suspended until further notice
    • Active Parramatta Van Program suspended until further notice
    Community Events Calendar
  • Libraries

    As of 12:00am Tuesday 24 March, City of Parramatta Libraries and all in-person services are closed including:

    • City of Parramatta Library
    • Carlingford Library
    • Constitution Hill Library
    • Dundas Valley Branch Library
    • Epping Branch Library
    • Ermington Branch Library
    • Local Studies/Family History Library
    • Newington Library
    • Wentworth Point Community Centre and Library
    • IELTS Training & Examination
    • Easter activities such as craft, story time and egg hunt
    • Educational tutorials, such as Year 11 Chemistry and HSC Mathematics Advanced

    Registered participants will be contacted directly.

    Visit Library Services Online
    Early Learning Centres

    Early Learning Centres remain open at this time. The following additional measures have been implemented:

    • Signage updates with NSW Health advice
    • Increased cleaning and sanitation
    • Patrons and staff advised not to attend if showing symptoms of cold or flu
    • Parents asked to sanitise hands before entering
    Parramatta Early Learning Centres
    Aquatic Centres and Fitness Activities

    As of 12:00am 24 March 2020, City of Parramatta Aquatic Centres are closed including: 

      Aquatic Centres & Swimming Areas

      • Epping Aquatic Centre
      • Macarthur Girls High School Pool, Parramatta
      • Lake Parramatta - designated swimming area and boat hire now closed

      Water Playgrounds

      • James Ruse Reserve water playground, Harris Park
      • Philip Ruddock water playground, Dundas Valley
      • Ollie Webb Reserve all-abilities and water playground, Parramatta
      Aquatic & Fitness Centres
      Community Care and Over 55s Leisure and Learning

      All activities and group meetings have been cancelled until the end of April, including but not limited to:

      • Multi-National Seniors Group
      • Day Lighters Group
      • Let’s Dine Out group lunches
      • Carers Support Group
      • All Over 55s Leisure and Learning Activities

      Meals on Wheels services remain in operation, but face-to-face support practices are being adjusted to enable appropriate social distancing.

      Over 55s Leisure and Learning
      Community Capacity Building Activities
      • Reconciliation Business Forum has been cancelled
      • ClubGRANTS information sessions are available online
      • Youth Week activities are currently under review
      Community Capacity Building Grants
      Halls, Community Centres and Meeting Rooms

      As of 12:00am 24 March 2020, City of Parramatta halls, community centres and meeting rooms are closed including: 

      • Burnside Gardens Community Centre
      • Don Moore Community Centre
      • Don Moore Reserve Meeting Room
      • Dundas Community Centre
      • Epping Community Centre
      • Epping Leisure and Learning Centre
      • Ermington Community Centre
      • George Kendall Meeting Room
      • Harry Todd Band Hall
      • John Curtin Meeting Room
      • Jones Park Hall
      • Newington Community Centre
      • North Rocks Senior Citizens Centre
      • Reg Byrne Community Centre
      • Roselea Community Centre
      • Wentworth Point Community Centre and Library
      • West Epping Community Centre
      Community Centres Closed
      Other services

      The following services, facilities and activities are operating as normal

      • Parks and reserves, but not playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment or skate facilities located within them. Social distancing laws apply.  
      • Civil works program and maintenance
      • Waste collection and cleansing
      • Meals on Wheels
      • Individual support to NDIS and Social Inclusion clients continues, but via phone
      Parks and Reserves
      Additional Sanitation Services

      In response to COVID-19, additional cleansing programs are in place including 

      • Early start team (3am) steam/pressure cleaning teams have been using disinfectant in their water tanks when they spray/sweep the pavements in the CBD daily, they also spray the bin surrounds and other furniture as required. We have a second team undertaking similar duties in the regional centres on a weekly basis.
      • Day and afternoon shift crews are concentrating works on the CBD, regional and local centres with an emphasis on sanitising / disinfecting water stations, bin surrounds, street furniture, pedestrian buttons on traffic lights etc.
      • Amenities cleaning is being reviewed to increase service levels from daily to more frequently for public toilets.
      Street Activity
    • Council Meetings

      Watch Council's next meeting online

      The next Council Meeting on Monday 23 March will proceed as scheduled, as Councillors are required to vote on an urgent matter in line with statutory requirements. However, additional measures will be in place to minimise any risk to the public, staff and Councillors, including:

      • Rearranging seating to facilitate social distancing
      • Limiting Council staff attendance
      • Encouraging the public not to attend meetings but to instead livestream

      Future Council Meetings will be held once a month, rather than every fortnight. Specific arrangements for those meetings are currently under review.
       

      Watch Council's Next Meeting Online
      Advisory Committee Meetings

      Council has postponed a number of Advisory Committee Meetings, while others – such as the Local Planning Panel – will be held via teleconference until the end of April. Council is working with committee members to determine specific arrangements for meetings.

      Council Meeting Information
    • Riverside Theatres

      Riverside Theatres closed temporarily from midday on Monday 23 March.

      The Box Office can still be reached on 02 8839 3399 or via 4mail at BoxOffice_Riverside@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au during business hours.

      Riverside Theatres
      Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Centre

      Parramatta Heritage and Visitor Information Centre is temporarily closed. Visitor and research services will be available online. For visitor services call 02 8839 3311. For research services, visit arc.parracity.nsw.gov.au or call 02 8839 3311.

      Educational and guided tours are now cancelled.

      Heritage and Visitor Information Centre
      Parramatta Artist's Studios

       Parramatta Artist's Studios in the Parramatta and Rydalmere locations are temporarily closed. The studios will be closed to the public, but available to artists according to a strict roster.

      Below is a list of associated events and workshops that have been cancelled. 

      • Art Month Studio Tour, Sunday 22 March - cancelled 
      • Art Month Precinct Night 'SLOW BURN', Friday 27 March - cancelled however live streaming is pending
      • Sydney Writers’ Festival, Parramatta Artists’ Studios, Thursday 30 April - cancelled
      • Rydalmere Hub Workshops, Term 1 and Term 2 - cancelled
      • April School Holiday Workshops - cancelled however pre-recording and distribution of workshop videos is pending
      Parramatta Artist's Studios Facebook
    • Playgrounds, Outdoor Gyms, Skateboarding Facilites, Aquatic Centres and Swimming Areas

      All City of Parramatta recreational facilities, equipment and structures are temporarily closed:

      Playgrounds, Outdoor Gyms & Skateboarding Facilites

      • James Ruse Reserve water playground, Harris Park
      • Philip Ruddock water playground, Dundas Valley
      • Ollie Webb Reserve all-abilities and water playground, Parramatta
      • Outdoor exercise equipment within any park or reserve
      • Playgrounds within any park or reserve
      • Skateboarding parks

      While, outdoor parks, reserves and green spaces remain open, social distancing laws apply. 

      Aquatic Centres & Swimming Areas

      • Epping Aquatic Centre
      • Macarthur Girls High School Pool, Parramatta
      • Lake Parramatta - designated swimming area now closed
      Swimming Facilities Closed
      TENNIS

      All City of Parramatta tennis clubs and facilities are temporarily closed. This includes all tennis play and coaching:

      • Binalong Park, Toongabbie
      • Caber Park, Winston Hills         
      • Gallery Gardens, Toongabbie
      • West Epping Park, Epping        
      • Dunrossil Park, Carlingford       
      • Mays Hill Reserve, Mays Hills
      • Timbergetters Reserve, Winston Hills
      • George Kendall Riverside Park, Ermington
      • David Scott Reserve, West Epping        
      • Cowells Lane Reserve, Ermington
      • PH Jeffrey Reserve, Parramatta            
      • North Rocks Park, Carlingford   
      TENNIS NSW
    • Current City of Parramatta Services, Places and Facilities

      The following services, facilities and activities are operating as normal:

      • Early Learning Centres
      • Civil works program and maintenance 
      • Waste collection and cleansing
      • Meals on Wheels
      • Individual support to NDIS and Social Inclusion clients continues, but via phone
      Contact Us
    • Parramatta September 2020 Elections postponed to 2021

      The Minister for Local Government has postponed the 2020 local government elections for 12 months. The decision was made as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, known to proliferate in assemblies. The next Parramatta Local Government elections will take place in September 2021. 

      The City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Councillor Bob Dwyer was appointed in 2019 and as such will continue in the role until September 2021 when councillors elect a new Lord Mayor. 

      OFFICE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
    COVID-19 Residential Support
    • NSW Health
      Logo from NSW Health

       

      For more information as it happens, please refer to official information authorities

      NSW Health response: https://t.co/kuKy2UTfMr 

      Latest updates can be found by visiting NSW Health website via: https://t.co/4wPEEtH67z

      Find the facts by visiting NSW Health website: https://t.co/YL3R1278ne

      Advice for travellers can be found by visiting NSW HEALTH website: https://t.co/hLCiTkDkLW

      For a list of local Health Professionals, vistit NSW Health website: https://t.co/qa1TieDmAq pic.twitter.com/iVjdcvXluB

      Search #COVID19 on social media for up to date information or you can or you can also follow NSW  Health on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@NSWHealth) 

      Last updated 24 March, 2020

      NSW HEALTH WEBSITE
    • Customer Contact Centre

      As of 12:00am 24 March 2020 City of Parramatta will be closing the following Customer Contact Facilities for over the counter in-person services. 

      • Council’s Customer Contact Centre - closed 
      • Reception at Level 12, 126 Church Street - closed
      • Planning subdivision applications are to be made by post and DAs via the ePlanning Portal. No applications will be accepted at Customer Contact Centre.

      During this closure the public is encouraged to:

      • Visit the website and search for the desired information
      • Use the Live Chat facility found on the left or right hand side of most pages
      • Contact the Customer Contact Centre on 1300 617 058
      • If a face-to-face communication, call the Customer Contact Centre and make an appointment
      Customer Contact Centre Online Services
    • Rates Relief for Eligible Ratepayers

      Residents and businesses who are having difficulty paying their rates can apply for financial relief under the Rates Hardship Policy. Eligible ratepayers can then enter into payment arrangements with Council.

      COUNCIL POLICIES
    • Late Payment Fees Waived

      Council's next quarterly rates notice will be issued in April 2020 and is due by 31 May 2020. No interest will accrue on late payments for ratepayers entering into new payment plans.

      RATES, FEES AND CHARGES
    • Safety Net for Financial Hardship

      Largely funded through the Federal Government’s Department of Social Services, emergency relief is a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means or resources to improve their financial situation. This support includes food and food vouchers, furniture, assistance paying bills, and refer people to places they can access crisis housing.

      EMERGENCY RELIEF PROVIDERS
    • Interest Free Loans

      The No Interest Loan Scheme® (NILS) provides interest-free loans for individuals or families on low incomes to access credit for the purchase of essential goods and services. As loans are repaid, the money is lent out to other members of the community to utilise this service. For more information, go to the NILS website.

      NILS Hotline
      Phone: 1800 509 994

      NILS LOCATIONS
    • Resident Support Resources

      Resources from Government agencies and private organisations for residents 

      • Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources - A collection of resources for the general public and industry about coronavirus (COVID-19).
      • Department of Human Services - How to register the intention to claim a Centrelink payment due to hardship experienced.
      • Telstra - Information on customers who cannot pay their bill on time. Telstra are not charging late payment fees or suspending services for bills that become overdue between Thursday 19 March and Thursday 30 April 2020. 
      • Tenants Union - Renting and COVID-19 information and services
      • Woolworths Basics Box
        • A service to help provide essential products to customers who are currently unable to visit Woolworths stores - the elderly, people with a disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation.  Each box contains meals, snacks and essential items for those in genuine need and will give them a helping hand in these difficult times. woolworths.com.au/shop/page/woolworths-basics-box
    • Woolworths Basics Box Delivery

      A delivery service providing essential products to customers who are currently unable to visit a grocery store. These include: 

      • the elderly
      • people with a disability
      • those with compromised immunity
      • people in mandatory isolation

      Each box contains meals, snacks and essential items for those in genuine need.

      Woolworths Basics Box Delivery
    COVID-19: Support For Business
    • Government Assistance

      Small and medium-sized business play an important role in the Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA), employing thousands of people, and serving many.

      Many small and medium sized businesses are severely disrupted with closures, a decrease in demand for services and a downturn in visitor numbers deeply affecting Parramatta. There have been a number of measures announced by the Federal and NSW Governments as part of the economic response to COVID-19.

      Businesses experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for government assistance.

    • Non-Essential Services

      The Australian and NSW Governments have announced social distancing measures to protect the Australian community from the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. Restrictions have been placed on a number of non-essential services by Federal and State Government.

      The following non-essential activities and businesses have been temporarily shut down or restricted: 

      • Pubs (licensed bottle shops attached to pubs may still operate)
      • Registered clubs 
      • Gyms, indoor sporting venues (this includes indoor dance classes) 
      • Cinemas, entertainment venues (including music halls, amusement parks, concert halls, billiards, pool or gaming arcades)
      • Casinos and nightclubs 
      • Restaurants and cafes are restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery (drive through allowed) 
      • Indoor and outdoor play centres
      • Community and recreation centres, including health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, pilates and barre studios, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres, and indoor boot camps
      • Food courts in shopping centres (take away may continue to be offered)
      • Auctions and real estate open houses
      • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, and tattoo parlours
      • Strip clubs, brothels, and sex on premises venues
      • Swimming pools
      • Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, non-essential facilities, community facilities such as halls and PCYCs
      • Hairdressing salons and barbershops may continue to operate (there must be four square metres per person)
      • Personal training may be offered outdoors with a maximum group of 10 people (there must be four square metres per person)
      • Weddings may have no more than five people (there must be four square metres per person)
      • Funerals may have no more than 10 people (there must be four square metres per person)

      Shopping centres and retail stores can remain open provided that the social distancing guidelines are followed. Activities and businesses that are not listed above can continue. The restrictions apply across NSW, including regional and rural NSW.

      The following information is current as of 26 March 2020. As it is rapidly changing, please check the relevant Federal and State restrictions via the links provided.

      BUSINESS.GOV.AU Website
    • Federal Government Support

      The Federal Government is focused on assisting businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

      Current assistance and stimulus measures include:

      • Boosting cash flow for employers - providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.
      • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses – this includes a number of measures including temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. See the Federal Government website for further measures.
      • Increasing the instant asset write-off - increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.
      • Backing business investment - introducing a time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
      • Supporting apprentices and trainees - Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
      • Supporting the flow of credit – measures include the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme where the Federal Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending.


       

      TREASURY.GOV.AU WEBSITE
    • NSW Economic Stimulus

      The NSW Government has announced a state economic stimulus package. This includes:

      • Waiving payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for three months (the rest of 2019-20). 
      • Bringing forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020-21
      • Waiving of a range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants, and tradies (note that details are currently being finalised and will be published on the relevant Government websites including NSW Fair Trading, SafeWork NSW, Liquor & Gaming NSW and Service NSW).
      • Employing additional cleaners of public infrastructure such as transport assets, schools, and other public buildings.
      • Bringing forward maintenance on public assets including social housing and crown land fencing.
      • Bringing forward capital works and maintenance.
      SMALLBUSINESS.NSW.GOV.AU
    • Rates Hardship Policy

      Residents and businesses who are having difficulty paying their rates can apply for financial relief under the Rates Hardship Policy. Eligible ratepayers can then enter into payment arrangements with Council. 

      COUNCIL POLICIES
      Interest Waiver for Late Payments

      Council's next quarterly rates notice will be issued in April 2020 and is due by 31 May 2020. No interest will accrue on late payments for ratepayers entering into new payment plans

      RATES, FEES AND CHARGES
      Faster Payments

      Council will inject money more quickly into the economy by paying suppliers for good and services within seven days {rather than the usual 30 days}. 

      PROCUREMENT
      Restaurant Takeaway

      Where cafes and restaurants are providing takeaway meal services in response to new restrictions on social gatherings, Council will work with operators to ensure the safety of patrons. 

      Further measures to support the community and businesses are likely to be announced over the coming weeks. 

      SUPPORT
      Local Emergency Relief Assistance

      Largely funded through the Federal Government’s Department of Social Services, emergency relief is a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means or resources to improve their financial situation. This support includes food and food vouchers, furniture, assistance paying bills, and refer people to places they can access crisis housing.

      EMERGENCY RELIEF PROVIDERS
      No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

      The No Interest Loan Scheme® (NILS) provides interest-free loans for individuals or families on low incomes to access credit for the purchase of essential goods and services. As loans are repaid, the money is lent out to other members of the community to utilise this service. For more information, go to the NILS website.

      NILS Hotline
      Phone: 1800 509 994

      NILS LOCATIONS
      Local Food Business Directory

      Council has set up a local food and beverage business directory highlighting businesses that are open for takeaway or delivery, as well as a social media campaign encouraging residents to support their local restaurants and cafes. 

      All food businesses in the City of Parramatta LGA are encouraged to submit their listing. 
       

      Local Food Business Directory
    • Faster turnover

      To assist businesses who are remaining open with the new government requirements, Council has installed  5 and 15 minute parking restrictions at various locations within the LGA immediately, including throughout the Parramatta CBD, Epping and Harris Park.

      Council hopes that this will assist and encourage customers to continue to access these services and businesses locally.

      5 minute spots

      5 minute spots will allow pharmacies to fulfil customers’ ‘Click & Collect’ orders without them exiting their vehicles, including spots on Macquarie Street to the west of Church Street and spots on Rawson St, Epping where Chemist Warehouse customers will be able to have their “Click & Collect” orders delivered to their vehicles at both locations.

      15 minute spots

      15 minute spots have been added throughout the Parramatta CBD to allow for customers and delivery drivers to park in close proximity to restaurants and cafés to pick up take away orders, whilst still encouraging adequate parking turnover.

      Parking restrictions

      Short-term (15 and 5 minutes) parking restrictions have been installed at the below 8 locations:

      • Macquarie Street west of Church Street, Parramatta – 5 x ‘15 minute’ and 5 x ‘5 minutes’ spaces on both sides
      • Phillip Street east of Erby Place, Parramatta – 8 x ‘15 minute’ spaces on the south side
      • George Street west of Horwood Place, Parramatta – 7 x ‘15 minute’ spaces on the north side 
      • Rawson Street, Epping (outside Epping Hotel) – 3 x ’5 minutes’ spaces on the south side
      • Macquarie Street west of Marsden Street, Parramatta (outside V by Crown) – 6 x ’ 15 minute’ spaces on the south side
      • Charles Street between George and Charles Street, Parramatta - 9 x '15 minute’ spaces on the east side
      • Macarthur Street between Victoria Rd and Grose Street, Parramatta – 2 x ’30 minute’ spaces on the west side (consultation has already been undertaken with the affected residents and businesses)
      • George Street west of Horwood Place, Parramatta – 3 x '15 minute’ spaces on the north side
      Parramatta CBD Parking Finder Parramatta CBD Parking Finder