Council Environmental Health Officer Wesley Phillips with Jason Gilmore- Senior Environmental Health Officer and Danika Stevenson- Environmental Health Officer from the Wide Bay Public Health Unit.
Council Environmental Health Officer Wesley Phillips with Jason Gilmore- Senior Environmental Health Officer and Danika Stevenson- Environmental Health Officer from the Wide Bay Public Health Unit.

Council's Covid-19 taskforce to ‘educate’ businesses, clubs

A COUNCIL 'COVID-19 Support Team' will be established to help educate local businesses, sporting clubs and community groups about their responsibilities under Queensland health directions.

Mayor George Seymour said while Queensland Health was the lead agency responding to the pandemic, Council had a role to play in educating the community about the importance of complying with COVID Safe requirements.

"Council has today agreed to allocate up to $300,000 from our $1 million COVID Business and Community Support Fund to establish a COVID-19 Support Team within the Regulatory Services department." Cr Seymour said.

"This team will include existing Environmental Health Officers, with Council also looking to employ an additional Environmental Health Officer for twelve months and four support officers for six months.

"This may involve hosting information sessions, conducting on-site visits, providing advice on Approved Industry COVID Safe Plans, and distributing fact sheets and other information."

"It's important everyone understands their requirements about collecting contact details for workers, volunteers and attendees that may be needed for contract tracing down the track." Cr Seymour said.

"As awareness increases, compliance and enforcement actions may follow, which could include warnings, fines and the issuing of Public Health Orders."

"We would hope that this would not be necessary though once there is better understanding of COVID Safe responsibilities and obligations," he said.

The matter was discussed at the September 16 Special Council meeting and carried unanimously by Council.

Councillor Phil Truscott said at the meeting health officers selected needed to be 'people' when dealing with the community.

"I have heard stories of our officers coming in heavy handed to businesses … all I ask is they be very carefully picked people with the right attitudes to keeping the rules," Cr Truscott explained.