INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alert Level 4 – What This Means For QLDC Services

Published: Wed 25 Mar 2020 04:38 PM
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has provided full details of the available services during the alert level 4 lock down period.
QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen said that local government has been identified as an essential service but the safety of the community and staff remains the top priority.
“We currently have a team of people focused on supporting the emergency management response and largely most of our services can be largely ldelivered remotely by staff operating at home. Over the lock down period our contractors will be on call to respond to any emergency situations,” he said.
All service centres, sport and recreation facilities, playgrounds and libraries will remain closed until further notice. However, the main Council phone line will still be operating and the priority will be to respond only to urgent issues to ensure the safety of staff and the community.
The phone lines for Frankton, Queenstown and Wānaka libraries will also be staffed during normal opening hours for specific queries relating to library membership and access to e-library services.
There are a number of service changes to be aware of:Regulatory Services:
· Animal control officers will be available to respond to serious incidents only.
· Alcohol licensing will be processing licence renewals only.
· Parking officers will not be operating with the exception of responding to urgent complaints about inconsiderate parking.
· Responsible Camping Ambassadors will continue to educate campers to ensure they are aware of the expectations to lock down and limit movement.
· Noise complaints can still be reported to the Council by calling 03 441 0499 or 03 443 0024.
· The Harbourmasters will continue to be on call and respond to emergency matters.
· All marinas and boat ramps will be closed and the community is encouraged to avoid local waterways.Waste Management:
· Residential kerbside collections will continue as normal. Please take care to place wheelie bins at least 50cm apart and make them as accessible to our trucks as possible to minimise the need for drivers to handle bins.
· Requests for new bins, additional bins, or bin repairs are not essential and will resume after alert level 4 is lifted.
· Transfer stations are closed to the public but will continue to be available for collection vehicles and essential services only.
· Frankton Recycling Centre (Materials Recovery Facility) is closed.
· Community green waste sites are closed and upcoming inorganic collections for remote communities may be rescheduled.
· The landfill will continue to be available for waste transported from the transfer stations and any essential services that have an existing account.
· Upcoming waste events (e.g. Waste free parenting) will either be postponed or delivered online.
· Public litter bins will continue to be serviced but at a reduced frequency.Building and Planning Services:
· Building and Planning services (such as processing of existing applications or requests for approvals) will continue as much as possible.
· Staff will be making use of virtual meeting options (i.e Skype), phone calls, email etc wherever possible.
· Site visits, inspections and all public hearings for are cancelled until further notice.
· A full list of building services available can be found at www.qldc.govt.nz/services/building-services.Parks, Reserves and Trails:
· Essential public toilets only to remain open and continue to be cleaned and serviced. All others closed.
· Playgrounds, water fountains and BBQ’s closed
· Cemetery, Internments and burial services to remain operational with some restrictions in place around attendance
· The Arborist team is on standby to respond to any emergency work related to public health and safety
· All mowing, horticulture, sports field services and seasonal renovations are suspended until further notice.
· The trail network remains open and physical distancing is expected. Please avoid remote locations for safety reasons.
· Contractors are on standby to respond to emergency work relating to health and safety and will remain available to address requests for service focusing on the highest priority matters.Roading:
· Cyclic maintenance activities will continue as normal to ensure the safety of our roads
· Renewals and resealing work sites will be made safe, but no new work of this nature will be started during this period.
· Street lighting works will be limited to emergency response to maintain public safety only.
· Street sweeping will not be occurring.
· Contractors are on standby to respond to emergency work.3 Waters:
· Preventative maintenance and typical operational tasks on the network will continue as normal to ensure the network remains in good working order
· Renewal projects currently underway will be completed to ensure services are reinstated and sites are made safe. No new project work will be started during this period.
· Contractors are on standby to respond to emergency work, and will remain available to address requests for service focusing on the highest priority matters.Public Transport:
To support those who work in essential services, for medical reasons or to access the supermarket, public transport will continue to operate in the Wakatipu on a reduced timetable. Go to https://www.orc.govt.nz/public-transport/queenstown-buses for updates on this service.Sport and Recreation Facilities and Libraries:
While sport and recreation facilities and libraries will be remain closed until further notice, staff are working on ways to keep our community active and connected through online services. Keep an eye on the Council’s website and Facebook pages (@QLDCinfo, @QLDCSportRec and @QTlakeslibraries) for updates on this.
· Basic Les Mills fitness classes will be available online on demand – go to www.qldc.govt.nz/recreation to take part in the classes
· Information about existing pre-paid and direct debit memberships of Alpine Health & Fitness, Alpine Aqualand and Wanaka Recreation Centre, along with QLDC Swim School payments and indoor climbing lesson payments, can be found at https://www.qldc.govt.nz/recreation
· A wide range of free e-Library services are available including e-books and audio books, digital versions of newspapers and magazines, and free streaming of movies and documentaries – for more information visit https://codc-qldc.govt.nz/blog/central-otago-queenstown-lakes-libraries-response-to-covid-19
· All items currently on issue from our districts’ libraries are not due back until 17 September.
· Our community services teams are also looking at ideas for those people who are not online, or who prefer not to be, to remain connected to these services. More information on this will be issued soon.
“These are unprecedented times and I know this community will band together and help each other through. It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or worried, our advice is to look after yourselves and your neighbours and follow the guidance from the government. That is our best chance of beating Covid-19 so we can begin to recover as a community,” said Mr Theelen.

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