COVID-19 Coronavirus Public Information

PUBLIC STATEMENT – COVID 19

Port Pirie Regional Council is mindful of community concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID 19) and the impact it is having on our local community.

We find ourselves in an unprecedented environment and would like to assure that the wellbeing of the community is our first priority and that we will continue to monitor and adapt to the rapidly developing and changing situation around the Coronavirus (COVID 19).

Because of the rapidly changing situation we are focussing our primary communication through our website www.pirie.sa.gov.au and Facebook page. We will continue to use radio, television and newspapers to communicate information however using our website and Facebook is a quicker way to get information out.

Please share our website and Facebook information with your family and friends.

With the current advice we have available we are not proposing to change our service levels at this time however we are monitoring this on a daily basis and may decide to take action such as closing our library and limiting some Council services if the spread continues and/or as directed by State and Federal Governments.

Council has a Business Continuity Plan which contemplates a pandemic situation and identifies key services required to be provided. This Plan is continually being reviewed as circumstances evolve and advice is received by the lead agencies, being the State and Federal Government.

Due to the declaration of a Public Health Emergency in South Australia and the Federal Government’s direction to cancel non-essential gatherings the following events have been cancelled -

  • Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery Exhibition, Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light – The exhibition launch scheduled for 21 March 2-4pm. Please note that the exhibition itself will still be open to the public as scheduled. (Cancelled in consultation with Country Arts SA and The Art Gallery of SA)
  • Port Pirie Riverbank Precinct Community Event scheduled for March 21.
  • Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) Masters Tour scheduled for 26 and 27 March.  (Cancelled by Cricket Australia)

The most up to date and trusted information and alerts regarding the Coronavirus should be sourced directly from the lead agencies dealing with the Coronavirus –

Mayor Stephens is in regular communication with our local Member of Parliament The Hon Geoff Brock regarding our preparation and plans for the Coronavirus.

If unsure about what to do at any time, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line for general questions on 1800 020 080.

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Update on Temporary Suspension of Some Council Services

Temporary Closure of Outdoor Play Areas    30 MARCH 2020
Following the Australian Government’s announcement yesterday, Council has temporarily closed all playgrounds and skate parks in our region until further notice.
These are being physically locked where possible and signage installed.
We thank you for your cooperation.

Update on Temporary Suspension of Some Council Services  26 MARCH 2020
Following the Australian Government’s announcement on Tuesday night in response to the public health concerns around COVID-19, the following Port Pirie Regional Council services will be suspended until further notice (effective as of COB yesterday, Wednesday 25 March):
*Port Pirie Library
*Crystal Brook Library
*Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery
*Crystal Brook Swimming Pool
*Port Pirie Visitor Information Centre – consistent with the Federal Government direction around suspension of Local Government non-essential services. Please note, Stateliner Bus Service remains in operation and is still accessible to the public via a separate entrance.
It is also likely that as part of our strategies for continued service delivery, Council staff will be working from different locations in order to comply with social distancing protocols. Further details will be made available as these actions are implemented.
Council will continue to monitor and adapt to this rapidly changing situation and will endeavour to keep you updated.
The safety and wellbeing of the community and our staff are our first priority and we thank you for your support and understanding.

Temporary Suspension of Some Council Services    24 MARCH 2020
Under the direction of the Australian Government in response to the public health concerns around COVID-19, the following Council services will be suspended until further notice:
*Port Pirie Aquatic & Leisure Centre (both indoor and outdoor facilities following confirmation that outdoor pools attached to indoor sporting venues are included in the Australian Government guidelines).
*Port Pirie Visitor Information Centre – Shark Cage Virtual Reality experience.
*Port Pirie Library – All children’s activities (includes Baby Bounce, Lego Club, Sunday Storytime and Gen Z).
*Crystal Brook Community Bus.
As our duty of care to vulnerable people, Council has also suspended the following services until further notice:
*Port Pirie Visitor Information Centre – Weekend and Public Holiday hours suspended.
*Pirie Rail Express Miniature Railway.
*Tech Savvy Seniors (Port Pirie Library).
Based on current Government guidelines, the Crystal Brook Swimming Pool will remain open as per normal operating procedures as it is a separate outdoor facility. Belgravia Leisure has implemented risk mitigation strategies for social distancing and personal hygiene. Please note that the Crystal Brook Pool season is due to conclude on Tuesday 31 March 2020.
We will continue to monitor and adapt to this rapidly changing situation and keep you updated.
The safety and wellbeing of the community is our first priority and we thank you for your support and understanding.

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Community Solar

Thank you for your interest in our Community Solar Project. We are pleased to announce that, following an exhaustive tender process, we have awarded the contract to Cool or Cosy who will be using their Community Power Network to facilitate the provision of affordable solar in the region.

The tender process focussed on a number of key areas; quality of product, quality and longevity of the company themselves, the company’s ability to provide first-class service and warranty back-up and their ability to provide a competitive pricing structure to benefit the wider Port Pirie Regional Council community.

In addition to our own detailed analysis of the submissions, we engaged an independent expert to assist in the selection process. The end result was that we rejected a number of tenders, including some on the quality of their product, and selected Cool or Cosy who demonstrated that they met or exceeded all of our criteria. One of the key points of the Cool or Cosy group offering was their ownership of Tindo Solar, the only Australian-made panel which is manufactured right here in South Australia at Mawson Lakes.

Combined with Cool or Cosy’s in-house finance, we are extremely pleased with the outcome of being able to offer entry-level systems from only $19.20 per week.

We found a great deal of information warning of the dangers of just buying on price – after all, we can all buy a cheaper system, product, appliance etc. We discovered that some dangers in buying a cheap solar system included the strong possibility of low-end materials and having to trust warranties that have no back-up and are not worth the paper they are written on, and that’s not even taking into account the poor performance and returns on your system.

Perhaps the most telling information came from an article featuring then Environment Minster, Greg Hunt, who in 2015 expressed concerns over the prevalence of cheap, shoddy rooftop solar systems that are falling apart inside five years. This has led to the term “landfill solar” being used in the industry to describe dodgy solar systems of uncertain origin. In a nutshell, although they may look the same, not all solar systems are the same.

We fully agree with his sentiments and we are confident that our thorough tender process has eliminated that risk for our community. We wish Cool or Cosy all the best as they meet with our citizens, ratepayers and local businesses.

Regards,

Director Corporate & Community
Port Pirie Regional Council

** Residents wanting further information on the Solar opportunity can register their interest using the following link OR contact Cool or Cosy on - 08 8352 5588 - enquiries@coolorcosy.com.au - www.coolorcosy.com.au

www.communitypowernetwork.com.au

Is solar good for South Australia?

The opportunity to leverage solar is significant in South Australia as according to Solar Choice’s results, Adelaide is one of the top three cities for investing in solar and batteries. This is because South Australia has very high electricity rates, plentiful sunshine and competitive solar pricing.

Why a battery as well?

The benefit of having a battery is to further reduce the reliance on grid power and provide some redundancy when there are power brown and black outs. This can be achieved in two ways:

  1. by storing excess daytime solar energy for night use
  2. is through tariff arbitrage, where cheap off peak energy from the grid is used to top up the battery for use in the morning rather than using peak load energy before the solar system fully kicks in.

What are the estimated savings?

Using a typical household of two people as an example, most of the savings come from self-consumed solar energy rather than solar buyback based on the current $0.08 feed in tariff. So based on the example that takes into consideration imports, exports and self-consumption over 24 hours:

  • Total consumption would be 13kWh
  • Self-consumed solar energy would be 10.33kWh – at this house’s grid rate of $0.31 this equates to a saving of $3.20 per day
  • Exports to the grid would be 31.4kWh and this would result in a solar buyback of $2.51 per day
  • Therefore total savings from the solar system for the 24 hour period would be $5.71 and this figure extrapolated into a full year is about $1,900 (this includes an allowance for lower generation in the winter)
  • If the cost for the solar system per fortnight was around $40 then the annual cost to the household would be $1,040. Therefore, the annual savings for a typical household would be around $800.