Update on COVID-19 and Council Services from your CEO

Published on 31 March 2020


I last communicated with you all on 17 March when we made the difficult decision to cease operating services and many of our public sites. Things have certainly moved along rather rapidly since then and the COVID-19 pandemic is testing all of us.

The COVID-19 situation has been a truly fluid one for all of us to manage as we navigate unchartered waters on many fronts. I thank all of you who have understood and acknowledged the positions we have taken and for your support to our teams during this time. For those that have yet to do so I strongly encourage you to please read the Mayor’s Message that was posted to the community last week.  This outlined important messaging around our financial hardship provisions, rate payments, our ongoing Council chat line and port of call for all residents should you require assistance or further information on our operations.

It has been heartbreaking to read of the many stories, locally and nationally, of those who have lost their source of income, their jobs and of those who continue to be amongst the most vulnerable in society when we experience such tumultuous circumstances. I would like to reassure you all that we are doing all that we can to play our part throughout this period. This includes progressing key project works as soon as possible, maintaining services and continuingly exploring options to deliver others (keep your eye out for the Mayor delivering an online story time soon!).

As you read this many of our casual staff are working in areas they have not experienced before, tirelessly ensuring that we can provide services wherever possible, while also ensuring local employment and stability. This includes providing casual staff for Meals on Wheels support services and upskilling these employees were possible in preparation for the future.

You may have seen that Council had to make the unfortunate decision to cease the ‘Call and Collect’ library service due to the closure of the Public Library Service.  The library is an important, and in some cases vital, service for our community.  So Council has developed a new service that will use all of the resources we have already stored in the Burnside Library.

‘Books to Burnside’ is our new home library delivery service, which is available to ALL residents.  Library books are either chosen or collected from ‘holds’, collated, marked as borrowed and then delivered to a resident’s front door.  We are actioning this service either through our Home Library Service or via our casual pool of staff, who Council are committed to keeping gainfully employed. Residents are able to request a home delivery service either via phone or online, ensuring those at home who are not connected digitally, do not miss out and remain engaged.

We are also introducing the ‘Toys to Home’ delivery service. You can call the Toy Library and the team will choose toys and deliver them to the door step.

In addition, we are expanding our Shopping For service to ALL residents 65 and over, not just our CHSP funded clients, to ensure our older residents stay safe and supported.  ‘Shopping for’ is a service where Council will undertake a weekly shop for residents, delivering goods to their doors.


Following the Commonwealth Government announcement made on 29 March 2020, Council will be closing playground facilities (including outdoor fitness equipment) and placing temporary bunting to restrict access to these facilities. Signage will also be erected. It would be appreciated if all in our community respect this decision and refrain from using these facilities until further notice. Rangers will be monitoring these sites and taking compliance and enforcement action where required.  

Unfortunately this also means that our rotating pump track trial will temporarily cease, with the current facility located at the Civic Centre to close.

There is no change to tennis court usage at present. However I take this opportunity to remind all of the social distancing and gathering rules. All personal training sessions and boot camps conducted within City of Burnside parks and reserves are to be limited to two people with appropriate social distancing in place. Please practise responsible health and fitness, enjoy our breadth of open spaces but be courteous to your fellow citizens and neighbours.

Council staff are also changing the way meetings are being conducted and your patience and flexibility during this time is sincerely appreciated. There are updates regarding Ordinary Meetings of Council and special provisions to be executed by the Minister.  As soon as information comes to light I will ensure all of you are made aware so that your ability to view and understand the decision-making of Council continues as much as possible.

Take precautions and be sensible. Don’t take unnecessary risks. It is also important to acknowledge that exercising personal responsibility does not mean you are responsible only for yourself. We all need to stay connected and treat each other with respect. As Australians, that is who we are.

Remember we are your Council and here for you. Keep in touch with us if you need support or wish to chat in any form.

Kind regards

Chis Cowley




Tagged as: