COUNCIL CONFERENCE: Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station Sean Relf with Mayor Keith Campbell and General Manager of Infrastructure at SBRC Aaron Meehan at the press conference on March, Tuesday 24. Photo: Laura Blackmore
COUNCIL CONFERENCE: Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station Sean Relf with Mayor Keith Campbell and General Manager of Infrastructure at SBRC Aaron Meehan at the press conference on March, Tuesday 24. Photo: Laura Blackmore

Mayor urges region to unite in ‘unprecedented times’

MAYOR Keith Campbell delivered another press conference to residents of the South Burnett after meeting with the Local Disaster Management Group.

He said he wanted to acknowledge that this was unprecedented times for the current generation during the conference held on Tuesday, March 24.
“The challenges faced by our community will continue to evolve and I would like to acknowledge the people in our community who will be heavily impacted by the changes announced by the Australian Government on the weekend,” Cr Campbell said.

“Every person in our region will be, in some way, affected whether that’s through their day-to-day life or through the impact to our local economy.

“Today the South Burnett Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) has moved to activation with an official ‘Stand Up’ status.

“This will ensure that Queensland Health are provided support and the continuity of services to our community at a local level,” he said.

“The activation of the LDMG will also create a co-ordinated response to the emerging challenges across human, social and our economy.

“It is a priority for the LDMG to look after the vulnerable members of our community and lessen the impact on our society as much as possible.”

He said on Monday, 23 the Human and Social and Economic Sub Group of the LDMG met with service providers and local community organisations to co-ordinate what support they can currently provide, and obtain an understanding of what assistance is required over the short and long term.

“We see it as absolutely critical that we engage with our local support groups and industry to ensure that all government agencies understand the challenges at the coal face of our community.

At the time of the press conference, Cr Campbell also wanted to reconfirm with the community that there had only been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the South Burnett.

“All schools in our region remain open,” he said.

“I want to acknowledge the teamwork and co-operation of all of our government agencies and community groups in working together to provide the best response we possibly can for our local community.

“Lastly, I want to thank our community for their continual support that has been provided and will be needed over the coming months.

“I would ask that you keep in contact with friends, family and neighbours over the coming weeks to ensure their well being.

“I would strongly encourage any person that needs assistance, for any reason, to contact the relevant government agencies, Australian Red Cross, or council for support.”

Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station Sean Relf with Mayor Keith Campbell and General Manager of Infrastructure at SBRC Aaron Meehan at the press conference. Photo: Laura Blackmore
Acting officer in charge at Kingaroy Police Station Sean Relf with Mayor Keith Campbell and General Manager of Infrastructure at SBRC Aaron Meehan at the press conference. Photo: Laura Blackmore

Key messages for the community included from council:

  • For any individuals or businesses who have been impacted by restrictions, including loss of employment, reduced hours, or any other financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a range of new and updated payments that you may be eligible for during this time.

Impacted residents are encouraged to contact Services Australia (formally known as Centrelink) via the Services Australia website or visit their MYGOV account. Council encouraged all people under financial pressure to seek advice and assistance at their earliest opportunity. Services Australia locally will be inundated with inquiries at their shopfront, and council asked, on everyone’s behalf, for patience and understanding.

  • The Department of Communities has established a Community Recovery hotline.

This hotline has been put in place for Queenslanders who are required to self-isolate and may need social and emotional telephone support. It is also for people that are in home quarantine and who have no other support mechanisms. The number to call is 1800 173 349. Red Cross has established a community support service for those requiring regular welfare checks and people may register by calling the hotline.

  • For further information, assistance and important links, stay in touch with council’s website at www.southburnett.qld.gov.au. This information will be updated as information is released.
  • For those who receive aged or special care services contact their service providers and they will refer them to the appropriate person for support during this time. They understand that protocols have been introduced in some services to reduce the risk to vulnerable people in the community.
  • For those that can, please support the local businesses. Every little bit will assist these businesses at this time. Buy local, get a hair cut, buy a coffee or buy a take away meal if possible.