From Drought to Coronavirus, Region is Being Tested

It is hard to believe just how much things have changed in the last few weeks. The year started with so much optimism despite a drought that was making life difficult for so many in our region.

Good rainfall during February and early March gave hope the drought was ending, and while talk of a new virus in China was in the background, few would have expected it to result in the shutdown of large sections of our society.

Unfortunately we now find ourselves in so much uncertainty but you can be assured that locally your Council is doing everything it can.

As you have probably heard by now, a lot of Council facilities are closed to the public. You can rest assured that water and sewer services and rubbish collection will continue, even if the current situation gets worse.

However the customer experience centres in Dubbo and Wellington are now closed to the public. Staff are now working from home and are still available via the phone or online so enquiries are still being taken.

The Dubbo, Wellington and Geurie Aquatic Leisure Centres, Wellington Caves, Old Dubbo Gaol and Macquarie Regional Library branches are also closed indefinitely.

Additionally the adoption services at the Dubbo City Animal Shelter and Wellington Pound are stopped, with animals fit for adoption to be distributed to rescue groups. There will be small windows available to pick up lost or stray pets that have been picked up by rangers. And our rangers will be available to respond to urgent enquiries.

Some amenities blocks will also be closed, although those at the Dubbo Church Street Rotunda, Cameron Park in Wellington and Wise Park in Geurie will be kept open and cleaned regularly.

Every decision made by Council is done to protect residents and staff from the virus.

I also want to encourage people within our community to support local businesses through this difficult time. It is very important to me that our local economy is driven by healthy small businesses and there had been so much positivity. Unfortunately the pandemic has created more uncertainty than ever.

Nobody could have predicted that restaurants, pubs and clubs would be forced to close, people would be asked to limit their shopping to essentials only and gatherings would be restricted to just two people. These things create tremendous challenges but our businesses are very resilient and very ingenious.

Restaurants have transitioned to takeaways, businesses are offering home deliveries and gyms hiring out their equipment. This out of the box thinking is exactly what we need. The more businesses that can stay open, the more jobs can be retained and the better placed we will be when we reach the other side.

It is hard to know how tough things are going to get before Covid-19 is brought under control, and unfortunately things could get a lot tougher before it is over, but just like the drought, I would back the people of our region to get through.

Last Edited: 06 Aug 2020

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