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Council Services FAQs

Information on council services during COVID-19 and current restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Caring for our aging community and people living with a disability is a high priority for the City of Whittlesea.

We are adhering to all government and health advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure essential services to these residents are delivered in a way that keeps our community and our staff safe and healthy.

Will I still get my delivered meals?

Delivered meals are continuing as normal. All clients have been contacted to discuss their current needs and the possibilities of delivering additional meals for freezing. To find out more about these services phone our Intake Officer on 9407 5935.

Can I still access home support?

This service is continuing as normal. We are calling clients to make sure they are ‘well / healthy’ enough to receive their regular service. To find out more about accessing assistance around the home, contact our Intake Officer on 9407 5935.

Can I still access support for carers?

All support for carer programs have been cancelled until further notice.

Are programs for seniors still running?

All events and programs have been cancelled or moved online.

This includes the following LEAP programs:

  • Golf
  • Seniors Exercise
  • Multicultural Cinema
  • Bus Trips

Can senior’s clubs still meet?

Senior’s clubs are considered non-essential gatherings and are therefore suspended until further notice.

Are social support/planned activity groups still running?

This program has been suspended until further notice.

Will rangers still collect my pet if it gets out?

Yes our animal ranger services are still operating. You will be able to visit the Epping Animal Welfare Facility to collect a pet that has been brought in. However, if your animal has been seized because it has been allegedly involved in an attack, you will not be able to visit due to Stage 4 restrictions.

How do I pay my pet registration if the Council office is closed?

You can pay online. Our customer service desk is closed to help stop the spread of coronavirus so we will be unable to take payments in person at this time. You can call us on 9217 2170 if you need assistance with this process.

How can I register a new pet?

Download the form and submit via email or post. We are unable to take payments in person at this time. We’ll be in touch once the coronavirus situation eases.

Are dog parks still open?

Yes. At this stage, dog parks in the City of Whittlesea remain open but they are being monitored to ensure physical distancing is being practised.

Creative Communities Fund

We have launched a new grants program, the Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund, that has been designed to provide funding for creative projects to directly respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

Read more about the grant program.

How do I contact the Building and Planning Team?

Many of our building and planning services can be accessed via this webpage. You can also email or post your building or planning application to us. If you have any difficulties, please phone 9217 2259, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm or email buildplan@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Community grants

We are committed to supporting local community groups and services.

One way we do this is through our annual grant programs where we support community groups deliver local projects and programs.

Like many businesses and organisations, we are adapting to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, we have reviewed our grants program and have refocussed it to supporting community groups as they recover from the pandemic.

How will the grant programs change?

 

We have simplified its current program by developing four new grants to be accessed by not-for-profit groups operating in the City of Whittlesea:

  • Resourcing grant program for the purchase of portable equipment and to pay for essential operating costs.
  • Venue hire subsidy for free access to local venues.
  • Reactivation grants to engage existing members in new online activities or re-establish previous activities if restrictions allow.
  • Reconnection grants to develop and deliver events and activities that are open to the wider community.

Council has also increased its investment in the community grants program by almost $20,000 - from $514,000 (2019/20) to $533,421.

Existing community grants that will continue in 2020/21 include Economic Development Grants, Environmental Works Grants, Senior Citizens’ Club Grants and Female Inclusion in Sport Grants.

What if I’ve already been told my grant application has been approved?

You will still receive your grant. However, if your group has been affected by the pandemic and you are unable to deliver the program that was intended, please contact the Community Development Grants Officer on 9217 2397 or community.grants@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

I’ve submitted an application, what happens next?

Our grants programs are now on hold while we assess the best way to provide value to the whole community as we all adjust to the changing environment.

In light of many groups having to suspended programs or change the way they operate, we also want to ensure your community group has time to develop activities and projects that will be successful post-pandemic.

We will contact you in coming weeks with more information.

Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund

We have launched a new grant program, the Whittlesea Creative Communities Fund, that has been designed to provide funding for creative projects to directly respond to the impacts of COVID-19. Read more on our grants page.

Sports Club Emergency Grants

In response to the impacts of COVID-19, Council has released a Sports Club Emergency Grant program designed to provide financial assistance to local sports clubs. Read more on our grants page.

Permitted Second Step activities:

  • Animal health and welfare
  • Support for Business
  • Bushfire prevention services
  • Cleaning of public spaces including street sweeping
  • Construction - in accordance with relevant restrictions
  • Corporate support services that cannot be done from home – essential 
  • Delivered meals
  • Early childhood and kindergarten 
  • Emergency asset work
  • Emergency response and relief
  • Environmental health - essential
  • Facilities maintenance - essential
  • Family Day Care - open
  • Fleet services
  • Home Support
  • Immunisation
  • Inspections – essential and high risk
  • Law enforcement – essential and high risk
  • Libraries - open for click and collect
  • Maternal & Child Health - for telehealth
  • Parks and gardens maintenance - essential
  • Outdoor pools (Whittlesea Swim Centre opening 1 November)
  • Playgrounds
  • Roads, drainage and asset maintenance - essential
  • School Crossing supervision
  • Waste services including bundled branch collection


Temporarily closed/cancelled 

  • Citizenship ceremonies
  • Community centres
  • Council offices at Civic Centre, Westfield (including Edge Youth Services) and Epping Depot
  • Golf courses
  • Skateparks and barbecue areas
  • Plenty Ranges Arts & Convention Centre
  • Pools and gyms (indoor and outdoor)
  • Public events
  • Recycling facilities
  • Recreation facilities, sportgrounds and sports clubs
  • Seniors Club meetings and LEAP golf program
  • Tennis courts
  • Hanson’s Wollert Landfill for public use.

Are Council meetings still going ahead?

Yes but to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), council meetings are being conducted remotely. We encourage people to enjoy the convenience of watching council meetings from the comfort of their own home. 

People can watch the Council Meeting live using the City of Whittlesea YouTube channel 

What Council offices are currently closed to the public?

  • Civic Centre, 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang
  • Council offices, Westfield Plenty Valley
  • EDGE Youth Services, Westfield Plenty Valley
  • Epping Works Depot, Houston Street, Epping

Why are the offices closed?

We’ve decided to close the council offices to visitors based on the advice from the Federal and State governments regarding places of gathering and social distancing. We want to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

When will you reopen?

At this stage, we don’t know when we will reopen our offices to visitors. The health of our community and staff is our priority. We’ll be monitoring the advice from the Federal and State governments and reopen when it is safe to do so. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

How can I get in touch with Council?

We’re still working and providing many of our usual services. Please feel free to contact us. If you normally visit us at one of our council offices, we ask that you please use the self-serve options online, phone or email us.

Can I still exchange my sharps container?

Yes. When you arrive at the Council, call the number that’s on the sign at the front door. A staff member will then exchange your sharps container for you.

Have Council events been cancelled?

All in person events and gatherings have been cancelled for now. Check our event listings here to find virtual and online events.

Are citizenship ceremonies still happening?

No. Citizenship ceremonies have been cancelled until further notice as part of our efforts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Is the immunisation service running?

Yes. Immunisation is a critical service for our community. We will continue to provide immunisation sessions across the City of Whittlesea. However, strict rules that have been imposed by the Australian and Victorian government on good advice from health experts means that some of our venues are not appropriate for this service. As a result, we have made some changes that will ensure we continue delivering for our community.

How are immunisation services changing?

  • All bookings for public immunisation sessions are now done online
  • When you attend your session, social distancing measures will be enforced.
  • Some changes have to been made to the immunisation timetable with services at some of the locations suspended for the remainder of 2020.

Why have these changes occurred?

The City of Whittlesea, like most organisations, is adapting to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Immunisation is a critical service and we are making some changes to the way we conduct our public sessions to ensure we can keep our community and our staff safe.

Which venues will no longer have immunisation sessions?

The following venues are too small to be able to safely conduct immunisation sessions during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Jindi Family and Community Centre in Mernda
  • Lalor Library
  • Mill Park Community Centre
  • Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre in Doreen

As a result, immunisation sessions at these venues have suspended for 2020.

Where can people still receive immunisations?

Families can still attend sessions at:

  • Galada Community Centre in Epping
  • Mill Park Baptist Church
  • Council Civic Centre in South Morang
  • Mernda Village Community Activity Centre
  • Thomastown library

A revised timetable is available here.

What additional measures are in place at the venues?

Once you arrive at the venue, you will be asked to wait in your car until your appointment time.

  • One parent or guardian to accompany a child for their immunisation appointment

Please do not attend an immunisation session if you or your child:

  • is unwell in any way
  • have returned from overseas within the past 14 days (self-isolation period)

Workplace immunisation

Community immunisation is our priority. To ensure we can meet these needs as best we can, we have suspended our flu vaccination service for workplaces. You will still be able to receive a flu vaccine, once they are available, at a community immunisation session.

Even though community centres are shut, you’ll still be able to access them for immunisation sessions.

Read more about public immunisations sessions.

Are kindergartens open?

Childcare is open without a permit from 28 September and kindergarten will reopen for Term 4 2020.

More information is available on the Victorian Government's webpage.

How do I enrol my child in kindergarten?

Enrolment can be made by email, online or phone. Visit this webpage for more information.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library branches are open for click and collect only.

Library members can still access books online via their eLibrary.

There are different apps you can download and use your YPRL to access ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers, music and learning.

visit www.yprl.vic.gov.au for more information.

How have Maternal and Child Health services changed?

All Maternal and Child Health appointments will be via telehealth until further notice. If you have an appointment, your MCH nurse will call you at your appointment time.

You can call us on 9404 8888 with any questions, or to change an appointment.

If you are concerned, please call the 24-hour MCH line on 13 22 29. 

Why have some of my MCH appointments moved to a phone consultation?

 To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has advised councils in Victoria to conduct some MCH appointments by phone until further notice. 

Will the MCH nurse call me?

Yes. Your MCH nurse will call you at your booked appointment time.  Please note that the call may come up on your phone as a private number. 

How does a phone consultation work?

The move to MCH phone consultations will still allow us to assess that your child is growing and healthy, and we will talk to you more about this at your first phone consultation.

Where can I go for breastfeeding help?

If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s feeding, please call Council on 9404 8888 to make an appointment for a phone consultation with a lactation consultant.  Breastfeeding drop-in sessions will not run, but again you can ring and schedule an appointment to speak to a lactation consultant. 

You can also call the 24-hour MCH line on 13 22 29. 

Is there an app I can use?

There is an excellent Maternal and Child Health App you can download which allows you to plot your baby’s growth and weight. Your MCH nurse will be able to talk you through using this. 

Here's more information about the app:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/maternal-and-child-health-app

How do I apply for a disability parking permit?

Applications can be sent to us by mail, or scanned and emailed to us.

How do I make a payment?

Most payments can be made on this webpage or by posting a cheque or money order. Building and planning payments can be made over the phone: 9217 2259.

Are playgrounds and skateparks closed?

Playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment is open.

Skateparks remain closed during the Second Step of the Victorian Government's roadmap to reopening.

Barbecues in parks remain closed.

Are sportsgrounds closed?

Yes

What about sporting clubs?

All Council sport facilities will be closed in line with government restrictions.

Which parks are closed?

Local parks are open but you must stay within 5km of home.

For information about Parks Vic locations visit Parks Victoria online..

Is mowing and gardening still continuing?

Council is continuing to provide essential services including maintaining our City, this includes mowing, where social distancing rules can be applied.

Is my kerbside collection still continuing?

Yes, it is an essential service. 

We know there are more cars than usual parked in local streets right now with many people working, or just staying, at home. To help our drivers get to your bins, please make sure they are placed on the kerb away from any obstructions.

Is the rubbish tip still open?

Hanson’s Wollert Landfill is closed to the public. The facility will remain open to council waste trucks and commercial customers. During this time they will only accept card payments (no cash) and will record, but not physically hole punch rates notice vouchers.

If you are unwell, do not attend.

The recycling facility at 480 Cooper Street Epping is closed.

Kerbside bin collections are continuing as normal.

What about hard waste collections?

There is no change to our hard waste collection service at this time.