Well another month on and the full impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is apparent within our community. A clear shift in how we perform our work commitments (if you still have work) and the impact on our businesses has been the most obvious. The requirement to maintain a safe social distance has challenged us all but has also inspired innovation in the way we trade, socialise and maintain fitness.

I doubt I have ever seen as many people out walking their dogs or simply walking in general.

It has been particularly heartening to see how many individuals and businesses have looked to how they might assist their fellow rural residents. There are too many to mention but I have seen examples of recognisable businesses at locations in Galston and Glenorie promoting local produce, value-added food options and delivery services. To assist those businesses in the food and beverage sector Hornsby Shire Council has decided to defer or waiver inspection fees through its Hornsby Helps initiative

In addition, Council has initiated its own delivery options. The library’s Pick and Drop service allows residents access to books, DVDs, CDs and other media delivered to their door. The Nursery Express service delivers vegetable seedlings from our Community Nursery to your home.

The Council Administration has had to make some difficult decisions, but arrangements are revised as new information and updates come to hand. Councillors have begun remote conferencing as we continue to meet our obligations to the community. The March public meeting was successfully run via teleconference and as a result we were able to move a number of outstanding items. Of particular importance was our support for recommendations to have more direct control over the approval process of aged care (SEPP5) facilities. A report has been endorsed seeking a suspension of such approvals by the State as we look to how we as a Council could better manage their placement throughout the rural area.

For assistance or further information in respect to COVID-19 and our assistance initiatives, refer to the Council Facebook page or Council website. Alternatively, call our switchboard on 9847666 or contact myself anytime on [email protected].