Whitsunday Regional Council
Whitsunday Regional Council

‘Minimise risk’: Council focused on maintaining services

AS CORONAVIRUS continues to impact the region, Whitsunday Regional Council have taken steps to ensure critical and essential services can continue.

Although it’s currently ‘business as usual’ for Whitsunday Regional Council (WRC), a number of changes have been made to the organisation in the wake of COVID-19.

The changes will not only keep essential services running, but increase the safety of employees, and the wider community.

WRC local disaster co-ordinator and director of infrastructure services Matthew Fanning said a number of different approaches had already been implemented.

“Immediately, we activated a business continuity plan, which separated our organisation into three ‘pods’, so if one pod went down to illness we could still offer the essential services,” he said.

“We’ve begun staggering and isolating different teams as well. This means areas like parks and gardens and waste services don’t overlap with each other, minimising risks.

“In the office, many who can work from home are already doing so. This has allowed us to rearrange the office layout for appropriate social distancing.”

Mr Fanning said there was “no crystal ball” on what extra measures would need to be taken in the future, but they were following all directives from authorities.

He said the council, in line with state and federal guidelines, had already made moves to slow the potential for the virus to spread in the region.

“We’ve closed the council-owned water amenities like pools and water parks, increased the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning across our facilities and also closed off camping areas and libraries,” he said.

“Over the next few days we will also be turning off public barbecues to reduce the chance of anyone having unnecessary social gatherings.”

Commercial flights from Whitsunday Coast Airport are also expected to cease soon, with a recommencement date currently slated for June.

However, the airport will still be open for essential aircraft such as medevacs and freight.

“It’s critical that we’re agile and change as something new comes in,” Mr Fanning said.

“Our focus is making sure our residents have access to the essential services of waste, water, sewerage and roads.

“We’re working on everything we can to minimise the risk across the board.”

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