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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Noisy Dogs

What can the Council do to help you?

The South Australian Dog and Cat Management Act states that Council may take action against a dog owner if their dog persistently interferes with your peace and harmony.

Convincing a dog owner to change his or her pet’s habits is not easy, and the more information we have, the easier it is to help you. In some cases a visit from Council staff and advice that their dog could be a problem is all that is required.

Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and in many cases in our experience, the dog owner doesn’t believe that there is a problem. To make any investigation work, we firstly need some information from you.

To make any investigation work, we firstly need some information from you.

Keeping a Record - The barking dog record

A seven day diary is used as Council’s confidential investigation into the complaint and is essential for a complaint to proceed. Fill in the diary sheet when the dog noise occurs. Do not try to remember at the end of each day or night as this will lead to mistakes in the accuracy of the diary. You must remember that the diary is a legal document that could become evidence in court, as such be sure to complete the entry correctly. All details remain confidential. Guidelines for filling out the diary are printed on the form.

In order for us to proceed with any investigation or action we need the following:

  • the completed diary
  • the cover completed and signed
  • the completed statement section

Additionally, for any formal action to be undertaken, it is necessary that the complaint be substantiated by another adjoining or nearby resident who is experiencing the same problem. Once the diary is complete, the investigating Officer will make inquiries in this regard. If the complaint cannot be substantiated, we cannot take any formal action. This is because we need a minimum standard of evidence to prove a case to a Court if necessary.

The Next Steps

Once you have filled out the diary, send it to Council.

One of the Council’s Animal Management Officers will approach the dog owner in person and by letter. The dog owner will be advised that Council is investigating a complaint and advise them, if required, how to resolve the noise. We will also contact you at this point and let you know the situation.

If the Dog Owner Cooperates

If the dog noise is acknowledged by the owner and they agree to take some action this can alleviate the concern, however some strategies may require to be trialled before they result in an ongoing solution. The length of time to provide an ongoing solution can vary, however it is important that during this period you continue to monitor the concern and maintain your diary entries as the feedback can assist the owner and also Council, should further action be required.

Please note that trialling a solution does not exempt the owners from preventing their dog from barking and does not exempt them from potential fines or orders. It is important that any trials are conducted after consulting with the Council staff investigating the concern. If the concern improves then no further action will be taken by Council.

If the Dog Owner does not Cooperate

If the dog owner refuses to cooperate, the process becomes quite formal.

We have the power to serve an order (a legal document) on the dog owner to take reasonable steps to abate the noise. The dog owner then has 7 days or such longer period as is allowed by the council to make submission to the council with respect to the matter.

We may also give you and other complainant’s diary sheets to fill out during this period. It is very important that you do so as this may have to be produced in evidence later on.  If we do not receive all the diaries, or if they are not completed, we will not be able to proceed any further.

After the waiting period has expired, return the diaries to Council and the situation will be reviewed.

Legal Action

If things have not improved, Council will consider whether or not to take legal action. Legal action is not automatic and depends upon our assessment of each case. Should Court action be necessary, then we may have to ask you to appear as a witness. If you do not wish to do this, then the Council cannot proceed any further.

It may also take some time to obtain a hearing date at the Court. During this period you must keep an up to date record of the noise and the effect it has had on you.

Should court action be successful, then Council will ask that the court orders the dog owner to seek some special help (usually from a vet or other qualified person) to correct their pet’s problem. We may ask the Magistrate to order specific controls be placed on the owner of the dog. Assuming that the Order is given and that they comply with it, this should have the desired result.

If any further details or information is required about the above, please contact the Animal Management section on (08) 8633 9720