COVID-19 information

The below information was published at 3.20pm Monday 8 June 2020. 

The Shire will update details on this page frequently as new COVID-19 information arises.
The Shire’s COVID-19 Community Care Package aims to ease the social and financial burdens on local community members, groups and businesses that are being experienced as part of the global pandemic.If you have a particular question or concern relating to a Shire service or facility please email [email protected].

Shire services and facilities information

Amended services, open & closure details

In response to the State Government’s four-phase roadmap easing COVID-19 restrictions, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River has reviewed a number of its facilities and services with the following changes and updates:

In-door Shire facilities

OPEN

  • Margaret River Civic Administration Centre

Face-to face service, including vehicle/driver licence services
Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm

  • Augusta Shire Office

Face-to face service, including vehicle/driver licence services
Tuesday to Thursday, between 9am - 4pm (closed 12pm-1pm for lunch)

Staff are available Monday to Friday, 9am - 4.30pm, to assist with your enquiries via phone 97805255 and email [email protected]

Staff will continue to be available to assist with TransWA booking and fare enquiries or customers can visit https://www.transwa.wa.gov.au/bookings-and-fares

  • Margaret River Recreation Centre

Effective Saturday 6 June, the Margaret River Recreation Centre’s revised hours will be:

Monday to Friday, 6am – 7pm
Saturday, 8am – 12pm
Sundays, closed.

Aquatics, Gym, Group Fitness (bookins essential), Indoor Sports Stadium, Creche and Cafe open.
For more info visit recreation.amrshire.wa.gov.au

  • Augusta Gym

Reopening on Tuesday 16 June
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7am to 11am
Free for members until normal operations resume as part of Stage 4 easing of restrictions

Strength for Life resuming 8.30a, - 9.30am as of Tuesday 16 June
All members will be required to complete new membership forms and sign in and out.

  • Margaret River Library

Margaret River Library is open.

Mondays 10am – 5.30pm
Tuesdays 10am – 8pm
Wednesdays 10am – 5.30pm (10am – 12pm over-60s only  / 12pm – 5.30pm all are welcome)
Thursdays 10am – 8pm
Fridays 10am – 3pm
Saturdays10am – 3pm

Click and Collect services are continuing, pick up during opening hours.
Free public Wi-Fi is available 24/7. Password is authorevents

More info at amrlibraries.com

  • Augusta Library

Margaret River Library is open.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 10am – 12pm / 1pm – 4pm
Closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday

Click & Collect services are still available. Pickup during opening hours.

More info at amrlibraries.com

  • Margaret River HEART

Is open Monday to Friday10am to 4pm
Saturday to SundayClosed

Bookings for event space and meeting venue hire are being taken via email [email protected] or call 9780 5294 for more information. Please follow @MargaretRiverHEART on Facebook for the latest updates.

Outdoor Shire facilities

OPEN

The following outdoor Shire facilities are open to members of the public who are able to comply with State Covid-19 Directions.

  • Skate parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Outdoor public exercise equipment
  • Public BBQs
  • Ovals
  • Parks
  • Trails
  • Davis Road Waste Management Facility
    Open to the public and rural waste pass holders 7 days per week from 8am-4pm.
  • Cowaramup Bay Road Transfer Station
    Open to the public and rural waste pass holders Wednesday and Saturday from 8am-1pm
  • Other waste transfer stations
    All other transfer stations remain available for use by residents who have designated smart cards for those stations.
  • Community Halls

A number of Community Halls are open and taking bookings. 

Witchcliffe Hall and Alexandra Bridge Hall are undergoing renovations and will be opening at a later date.

For more info and to make bookings visit
https://www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/facilities/halls

  • Alexandra Bridge Campground

Open from 2 May 2020. 21 campsites available on first come, first served basis. No bookings will be taken. Fees payable at self-registration box. Phone 9780 5676 for further information.

  • Turner Holiday Park

Turner Holiday Park is open and taking bookings.
Flinders Bay Holiday Park will remain closed as part of usual seasonal closures and will be reviewed subject to booking demand.

Please visit the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions website in relation to camping in National Parks.

Council meetings

Council Meetings

  • In accordance with Phase 3 - Easing of Restictions on 6 June 2020, the Shire is permitting in -person attendance at public Council Meetings.  
  • Details of the upcoming Council meeting, including procedures for Public Question Time and Deputations, are advertised on the Council Meeting minutes and agenda page.

Media releases & statements

Social Media 

Advertising

Supporting our community

Assistance with Shire rates, fees and charges

The Shire's Community Care Package has been initiated in response to the escalating coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a considerable economic and social impact on the community.

The package aims to support the existing Federal and State Government measures that have been put in place to support people in the community, particularly those experiencing financial stress. The package includes:

Rates, Fees and Charges

  • Zero rate increases for the 2020/2021 financial year
  • Waiving of all non-regulatory Shire fees and charges from 26/3/2020 onwards until 30 June 2020
  • Waiving of penalty interest charged on outstanding rates until 30 June 2020
  • Flexible payment plans for those in vulnerable situations or experiencing financial hardship.

For more info contact the Shire’s Revenue Team on (08) 9780 5255

In Kind Support

  • Free before/after school care for workers in critical healthcare of community service roles while legally possible for the Shire to provide;
  • Support will be provided by Shire staff to support recovery activities within the community where possible.
Funding for business initiatives and community services

The Shire's Community Care Package has been initiated in response to the escalating coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a considerable economic and social impact on the community.

The package includes up to $2million of Shire reserve funding for local business initiatives and community services which respond to needs arising from the pandemic. This fund is open from the 26 March 2020, with assessments to be completed on a rolling basis.

The fund can be used to support projects or services that:

  • Responds to immediate need in our community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Connects neighbours and community members to assist and support each other
  • Enhances people’s access to critical information and resources
  • Enables transportation and delivery of services and supplies
  • Supports people who need urgent accommodation due to the impact of the pandemic
  • Provides access to mental health and counselling services
  • Delivers technology to enable people to access information, resources and connect with other people and services
  • Continue support services through business networks and associations
  • Develops toolkits and other supports to assist businesses through the pandemic
  • Provides access to information resources for businesses
  • Delivers financial advice for the business community
  • Delivers advice for businesses who are redefining their business model in response to the pandemic
  • Supports businesses who are providing a community service in response to the pandemic, and
  • Supports businesses for activation and marketing, when they are able to reopen.

To apply, download the Community Care Package Guidelines and contact the Community Recovery Team at (08) 9780 5255 or [email protected]

Acquittal Form - download here

Funding recipients announcements:

  • $113,000 Margaret River Community Centre and Just Home (read more).
  • $8,605.40 Augusta Community Resource Centre (read more)

  • $170  Margaret River State Emergency Service  (read more)

  • $41,850 Mindful Margaret River and the Lishman Health Foundation (read more)

  • $28,695 Margaret River Chamber of Commerce & Industry (read more)

  • $25,000 Margaret River Wine Association (read more)

  • $20,000 Margaret River Farmers Market  (read more)

  • $3680 Cowaramup Lions Club (read more)

  • $2614.73 ​​Swimming Women (read more)

 

Shire Wellness Services

The Shire has established Wellness Services to support our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this, we are making phone calls to check in with community members who may be struggling at this time.

Register a vulnerable person

If you know someone who might benefit from this service, you can confidentially register them here and we will follow up to ensure they have the supports in place that they may need.

What else you can do

There has never been a more important time for our community to stick together. We all have a role to play in helping each other right now. Things you can do:

  • Check in on your neighbours in a safe way, share phone numbers and help each other out where you can. Use these neighbourhood postcards or start a phone tree using one of our templates
  • If you’re part of a group that can help or have an idea, let us know about it!
  • If you’re not connected with a community group, but you are keen to volunteer your time to help others, you can register online here or contact us to discuss options.

Connect with us by emailing [email protected] or phone (08) 9780 5255

Mental health support

The COVID-19 situation may see community members experiencing social isolation, economic uncertainty and emotional distress. If you are concerned about yourself or others we encourage you to: 

  • Visit your Doctor/GP or local hospital. 
  • Red Cross Telecross can provide daily telephone call to check on older people who are home alone wellbeing at home.
  • View the Australian Psychological Society mental health resources that specifically address coronavirus anxiety via their website. 
  • View the Life in Mind has established Mental health support for COVID-19 webpage. This page provides vital connections to resources which are designed to support the mental health and wellbeing of those experiencing an indirect or direct impact from COVID-19. 
  • Try a range of health and wellness apps that are available such as Smiling Mind or Headspace
  • View the Think Mental Health website and use the check-up tool.

Local welfare supports

Support for community groups

There has never been a more important time for our community to stick together. If you’re part of a group that can help or have an idea, let us know about it!

Other resources that might help you right now:

Register your group or service on My Community Directory

How to list your service change on My Community Directory

  • Access to paid video conferencing - the Shire can assist community groups with access to paid Zoom (video conferencing) accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this will help you to stay connected during this time.

    We have two options to support you:

    1. If you need a 1 hour meeting once a fortnight (or less often)

    The Shire can assist using our guest zoom accounts. To use this service please send your community group name, meeting time, date, number of participants and meeting duration to [email protected]. We will arrange a one-off zoom meeting for you and send you the log in details to host the meeting. Please be sure to book 1 business day in advance of your meeting to allow for processing time.

    2. If you need 1 hour meeting twice a fortnight (or more often)
    The Shire can assist through the Community Care Fund, to purchase your group a standard six month zoom subscription. Please email your request to [email protected], including your community group name and why you require frequent video conferencing for your community activity.

Subscribe to our Community Group Newsletters

Information for businesses

Government packages for small businesses

Both the Federal and State Governments are assisting businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees.

Federal Government funding info at www.business.gov.au and The Treasury

State Government funding info at www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

Funding for WA tourism businesses info at https://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Industry-support/Industry-resources/Coronavirus/Pages/WA-Tourism-Recovery-Program.aspx#/

Information for sole traders and other entities is available here.

Other assistance from the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)

The Small Business Development Corporation has collated information on the Government packages at all tiers of Government, available at https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus#govt-support

Assistance accessing Government packages

To get the most out of the Government packages available it is recommended you work with an accountant or financial professional.

The Shire has funded the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide one-off $250 vouchers for visiting your accountant to access the Government packages as quickly and effectively as possible.

For more information, visit the MRCCI website.

Support and advice for businesses in the Shire

There is a lot of support and advice at this time for business owners wanting to understand the financial help available, to work on business models or build knowledge or capacity in an area, and to get helpful strategies for managing stress and mental wellbeing.

Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI)

Funded through the Shire’s Community Care Package, the MRCCI is offering three months of free membership at the moment, and is facilitating the $250 Accounting Vouchers to assist you to access Government packages and one-on-one advice during this time.  

Visit the MRCCI website for more information.

Mindful Margaret River and Lishman Health Foundation

Funded through the Shire’s Community Care Package, Mindful Margaret River is delivering business advice and mentoring through experienced professional, Pip Close, and also offering support with mental wellbeing.  

Visit the Mindful Margaret River website or email [email protected] for more information.

South West Smart Hub

An alliance of organisations in the south-west, spearheaded by the Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance, has launched the South West Smart Hub portal as a single access point for information, resources and support.  

Visit the South West Smart Hub website for more information.

Business Advisory South West

Business Advisory South West are continuing to offer one-on-one strategic advice for businesses in the Shire through this time utilising online software. They also regularly deliver workshops and webinars to help with strategic direction, finance, marketing and other relevant business topics.

Visit the IPS Business Advisory website for more information.

Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)

To help businesses continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic the SBDC have created a number of free online workshops and webinars, and released a free library of online professional learning resources, available at https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus#govt-support 

You can also contact the SBDC on 133 140 should you require over-the-phone business advisory services.

Advice for food and beverage businesses

All businesses across Western Australia planning to re-open as restrictions ease will need to prepare a COVID Safety Plan beforehand, to protect staff and customers.

For more information see the COVID Safety Plans key to reopening WA businesses. Plans will soon be available from wa.gov.au.

For businesses still operating a takeaway service, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Shire encourages the community to:

  • Practice hygiene measures when handling and delivering food;
  • Avoid using cash where possible and instead use contactless or online payment methods;
  • Implement all social distancing measures wherever possible.

State of Emergency occasional liquor licence

Occasional liquor licences may be granted to existing licensed venues for up to 6 months to allow the sale of liquor with a takeaway or delivered meal. 

Licensees with permanent licences of the following types will be able to apply:

  • Restaurant Licence;
  • Small Bar;
  • Tavern Restricted;
  • Hotel Restricted;
  • Club Restricted;
  • Special Facility Caterer.

Packaged liquor will be limited to one bottle of wine and one 6 pack (beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits) per order (the 6 pack can be in any combination) between the permitted hours of 12 noon and 12 midnight.

The WA Government has also moved to support local wine producers with an amendment to the current liquor restrictions to allow cellar-door sales of up to nine litres of wine (12 bottles) per customer per week in Western Australia.

To apply for an occasional liquor licence, email the State of Emergency Direction Application form to [email protected]

Accommodation providers who have guests who are self-isolating

It is important that people who are required to self-isolate in accordance with government protocols, be provided with support and care. Some people in Western Australia will require alternative accommodation to comply with self-isolation protocols. Should your accommodation business be in this situation, the WA Department of Health has issued advice to assist you manage the matter.

Information for stranded or displaced travellers

Accommodation options

Stranded or displaced travellers, including those sleeping in vehicles are advised to contact Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association who are coordinating provision of longer-term emergency self-contained accommodation.

If you are in need of assistance, please phone (08) 9780 5911 or email [email protected]
More information about this service here https://www.margaretriver.com/travel-safety/

UN Migration Agency

International travellers

International travellers who wish to return home are being advised to contact their Embassy or Consulate immediately to assist with repatriation options.

The UN Migration Agency is also offering support to travellers who do not have adequate finances to return home. Funding is available to cover the cost of a plane ticket home, bus fare to Perth and assistance getting a passport. This includes people whose visas have expired - noting there will be no negative immigration record for using this service.

State/Federal Government response information

Travel restrictions

Arrivals to Western Australia

WA Border Closure - Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Western Australia.

You will no longer be able to enter Western Australia after 11.59pm, on Sunday, 5 April 2020 unless an exemption has been granted.

Exemptions will apply for:

  • National and State security governance;
  • Health services;
  • Transport, freight and logistics;
  • Specialist skills not available in Western Australia;
  • FIFO employees who are not specialists and their families;
  • Emergency service workers;
  • Courts, tribunals and commissions;
  • Compassionate grounds.

Anyone who thinks they meet the criteria outlined in the ‘Quarantine (Closing the Border) Directions’ may apply for an exemption.

You can apply for an exemption via the G2G PASS website or by completing the exemption application form.

Returning to WA from international travel 

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident arriving back in Australia, you’ll be subject to the Australian Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days at your first Australian destination. 

You will be provided with suitable accommodation to stay in during this period.

You will not be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections, until the 14 day mandatory quarantine period has been completed. 

For more information visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Smart Traveller

Returning to WA from domestic travel  

If you are a Western Australian wishing to return home from domestic travel, you will need to make an application for exemption to enter the State on compassionate grounds.

If your application is accepted, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days once back in Western Australia. You will be instructed by authorised officers where and how to self-isolate, and also need to comply with any other terms and conditions they impose. The G2G pass is currently not in use for return from Australian domestic travel.

Intrastate travel restrictions

Changes to regional travel boundaries will take effect from midnight on Monday, 18 May 2020.

Phase 2 of easing restrictions in Western Australia will allow more travel within the state than under the current restrictions. The new regional boundaries will allow:

  • travel between the South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Perth and Peel regions;
  • travel between the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions*;
  • travel within the Goldfields-Esperance region*
  • travel permitted within the Kimberley between local government areas*

*Restrictions on travel to remote communities and biosecurity areas will remain in place.

Source: Department of the Premier and Cabinet

The existing rules and processes for exempt travel across regional boundaries will apply for travel between these four new regions.

Western Australians will not be permitted to leave their regional boundary. Police have the power to enforce these restrictions and fines of up to $50,000 can be issued.

Exemptions will apply for: 

  • Employment purposes;
  • Medical reasons;
  • Health and emergency services;
  • Transport of essential goods;
  • People living across regional boundaries, who may not have access to groceries or supplies within their region;
  • School, TAFE or tertiary study reasons;
  • Escape domestic violence or emergency;
  • Compassionate grounds.

Read more on Western Australia's Prohibiton on Regional Travel Directions.

Anyone wishing to make a report regarding a breach of COVID community safety measures should phone Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Official health information sources

Social media

Disability support information

Further information

Non-essential businesses

Under Phase 2 of WA’s four-phase road map, the State Government has announced a number of eased restrictions on non-essential services, with new social distancing measures to protect the Australian community from the spread of the coronavirus.

The following activities can recommence, providing all venues abide by a 20 patron limit and the four square metre per person capacity rule, effective from midnight Monday, 18 May 2020:

Public gatherings

  • indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings of up to 20 people
  • weddings and funerals up to 20 people inside or 30 outside.

Dining out

  • cafés and restaurants with meal service, including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casino
  • nightclubs must remain closed
  • alcohol can only be served ancillary to a substantial meal
  • up to 20 patrons.

Fitness and recreation

  • non-contact community sports up to 20 people
  • outdoor or indoor fitness classes with minimal shared equipment, up to 20 people
  • public pools (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) permitted to open under strict rules and up to 20 patrons per pool.

Community facilities

  • places of worship, community facilities and libraries permitted to reopen
  • up to 20 patrons.

If businesses or premises wish to reopen they will be required to prepare an official COVID Safety Plan available for inspection by an authorised officer, to protect staff and customers.

Phase 3 is subject to health advice, but will focus on continuing to build stronger links within the community and include further resumption of commercial and recreational activities. It may include:

  • further increase to non-work gathering limits;
  • re-opening playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment;
  • re-opening galleries, museums, zoos, theatres, cinemas and concert venues;
  • resuming beauty therapy and personal care services;
  • resuming community contact sport;
  • restrictions further relaxed for gyms, health clubs and indoor sport centres;
  • re-opening auction houses and real estate auctions;
  • and possible further adjustments to regional boundaries.

Phase 4 and future easing of restrictions will be determined and occur in line with expert health advice.

Read more about the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on non-essential services.

Social distancing

Social distancing means less contact between you and other people. It helps stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases.

Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared;
  • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes;
  • Touching objects or surfaces (such as handles or hand rails) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

State Government has advised that public gathering restrictions will allow 20 people at indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings, effective from midnight Monday, 18 May 2020.

Everyone is required to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go outside. You are permitted to leave home for the essentials, such as:

  • Shopping for what you need - food and necessary supplies;
  • Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • Exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • Work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

Read more on social distancing guidance.

Self-isolating

For the most current information and restrictions, please visit the Federal Government Coronavirus website.

Who must self-isolate

Self-isolation means staying at home or in your hotel room for 14 days. This is to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.

  • You must self-isolate or quarantine if any of the following applies to you:
  • You arrived in Western Australia from interstate after 1.30pm Tuesday 24 March;
  • You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020;
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • You have COVID-19.

All travellers returning home from overseas will be quarantined in a hotel or designated facility for 14 days. This will take effect from 11.59pm Saturday 28 March.

This means you:

  • Do not leave your home/hotel unless it is an emergency;
  • Do not go to public places such as work or shopping centres;
  • Do not let visitors in - only people who usually live with you should be in your home.

Advice for Senior Australians including those with existing health conditions

The health and wellbeing of senior Australians remains a primary concern in this uncertain time. COVID-19 has more serious impacts on older Australians, those over 70 years of age and Australians with existing health conditions or comorbidities.

The Federal Government strongly advises self-isolation at home to the maximum extent practicable for Australians:

  • Over 70 years of age; 
  • Over 60 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
  • Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities. 

These groups should limit contact with others as much as possible when they travel outside.

Resources for printing and distribution

Printable COVID-19 resources

Environmental cleaning factsheet (workplaces) 

Other general hygiene promotion posters

Translated resources

Community Newsletter

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Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
9am-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

Augusta

66 Allnut Terrace
Tues, Wed, Thurs
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255

Emergencies

For contact details for fire, police, bushfire brigades, hospitals, storm damage, power outages, etc please see the emergency contact page

National Relay Service

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment call us through the National Relay Service

Change of details form

To ensure that you receive your Rates Notice on time we need to be updated on changes. You can do this online.