Curran calls coronavirus crisis meeting
INCUMBENT Gympie mayor Mick Curran has called a “special” coronavirus-related council meeting to take place just five days out from the local government elections.
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Gympie Regional Council announced this afternoon the meeting would take place at 9am on Tuesday morning to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact already made on the community.
Mr Curran has also called for a meeting of the Local Disaster Management Group for Monday, two weeks since the council’s Executive Team reportedly began regular meetings “to develop and implement plans” in response to the ongoing crisis.
Council CEO Bernard Smith said there would be multiple “areas of concern” to address at the meeting.
“We’re currently working and planning for the continuation of our critical services should the situation significantly escalate, how we deliver these, with the priority of ensuring the ongoing welfare and safety of staff and the community,” Mr Smith said.
“We are also looking at how we can best support local business. We know businesses are already hurting; what are the measures Council could take to deal with the economic impact? We are also talking to the chambers of commerce and will update the community very soon on this.”
Mr Smith said reducing or eliminating business costs and fees and the promotion of the region with a shop local campaign were among the council’s potential options going forward.
“We’re also looking at our capital works program with an emphasis on projects with a high employment and local content in order to support local employment,” he said.
“We will do all we can as a Council to support our community through these uncertain times, this is our priority and our focus.
“Once the Council have met on Tuesday, we will update the community on any decisions made, with staff putting into place the outcomes as soon as possible.
“It’s important that we all support our local businesses any way that we can and I would encourage the community to shop local if they are able to.”
The council statement also said a hotline would be created for businesses with general enquiries or needing particular advice to do with the coronavirus.