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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
24 February 2022

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Business Assistance Package 
The Government has announced a $67 million Level 1 COVID-19 Assistance Package for businesses impacted by increasing COVID-19 cases and implementation of public health and social measures.
The following financial assistance is available:
  • Small Business Rental Relief ($54.2 million) – which provides grants to eligible business and landlords and rental waiver for small business tenants of State Government owned buildings.
  • Outdoor dining and entertainment support ($11.6 million) – this provides a range of tailored support packages, of most relevance to Local Government:
    • $5 million Alfresco Support Program – provides small business in the hospitality sector with up to $5,000 for eligible costs associated with creating or expanding an alfresco areas to meet public health requirements.
    • $3.5 million Waiver of Liquor Licencing fees – renewal fees for 2022 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid.
    • $1.3 million Performing Arts, Theatres and Cinemas Assistance Program, providing payments of up to $50,000 to provide cash flow assistance to a range of larger, indoor entertainment venues that are particularly affected by capacity constraints.
  • Other business support ($1 million) - to expand small business financial support services.
For Local Governments, the Alfresco Support Package is likely to increase the number of alfresco and outdoor eating permit applications. 
Further information on the business assistance package can be found here.
Webinar: Managing COVID-19 and Access to Local Government Premises
WALGA has sought Legal Advice on Local Governments ability to require Proof of Vaccination for entry into venues not covered by the Proof of Vaccination Directions (No 5).
WALGA is hosting a joint webinar with Moray & Agnew Lawyers to present on this Legal Advice, suitable for Local Government CEOs, Senior Managers and HR staff.
Date: Friday, 25 February
Time: 9:30am to 10:30am
Venue: Online
To register, please click here.
Webinar: Implementing a Vaccination Policy - Key Considerations
WALGA is hosting a joint webinar with Samantha Maddern, Partner, Mills Oakley to present on COVID-19 vaccinations for employees and key considerations for employers when deciding whether to implement, and how to implement, a COVID-19 vaccination policy for current and new staff.
This webinar is suitable for Local Government CEOs, Senior Managers and HR staff.
Date: Friday, 4 March
Time: 10:00am to 10:45am
Venue: Online
To register, please click here.
Omicron Modelling
The WA Department of Health modelling for Omicron in WA has been released. 
The WA Department of Health has undertaken modelling to reflect the recent emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 in the community and how this new variant affects WA’s planning to transition to living with COVID-19.

The considerations that have impacted the modelling include:
  • the evidence is that Omicron is substantially less sever than the Delta strain, albeit more transmissible,
  • the level of immunity within the WA population, with high levels of vaccination and significant uptake of the booster dose, and
  • the trajectory of the current outbreak and how it impacts the risk of opening WA’s border.
View the modelling here.
Amendments to Gathering Limits
The COVID Transition (Public Health and Social Measures) Amendment Directions  have been released.  
These Directions confirm the increase to the number of people who can attend private gatherings (outside) and provide additional clarification on the application of the 2 square metre rule.  

These Directions should be read in conjunction with the COVID  Transition (Public Health and Social Measures) Directions. 
Building and Construction Directions – Clarification Received
WALGA has received clarification from the Office of the Chief Health Officer on a number of questions WALGA raised in January 2022 regarding the Building and Construction Industry Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (No 3) (BCIW Directions).
WALGA set out the following scenarios and requested that the Office of the Chief Health Officer confirm whether the Directions apply to Local Government employees.
  1. Local Government employee only site: A works crew is undertaking minor road works, such as filling pot-holes or repairing edges on a Local Government road. The BCIW Directions do not apply.
  2. Local Government employee only site: A grader driver in a regional area working alone or with a water truck operator grading unsealed roads. The BCIW Directions do not apply.
  1. Local Government employee only site: A parks and gardens team in the metropolitan area undertakes pruning and chipping of trees in the local parks. The BCIW Directions do not apply. 
  1. Local Government employee only site: A Local Government is building a new road carriageway with only Local Government staff on site. The BCIW Directions apply, unless the activity is deemed ‘minor roadworks’. Minor road works would be activities like filling in pot holes and footpath repairs, as opposed to building a new road.
  1. Local Government employee predominant site: A roads crew is repairing or upgrading the local road and is using contract staff for a small portion of the job. The BCIW Directions do not apply to Local Government employees.
  1. Local Government employees and contractors on site: The Local Government is undertaking a major road project and employees are working with employees from one or more contractors (such as stabilisation contractors, asphalt or bitumen suppliers etc). The BCIW Directions apply to the Local Government employees as this is a large-scale project with potential contact with contractors who have moved from and will be moving to other sites.
  1. Interaction between the BCIW Directions and the Remote Aboriginal Community Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions: A Local Government worker carrying out “minor construction works” in a remote Aboriginal community. For example, a Local Government grader driver working alone on roads within a remote Aboriginal community.  The BCIW Directions will prevail. If the worker was unvaccinated, they could access the community for the purpose of completing the minor construction works, but they would otherwise be prohibited from remaining in the community. However, given the vulnerability of the community, it would be preferable for the worker to be vaccinated if possible. 
  1. The civil construction industry is seeking vaccination status information for any Local Government employees that will visit civil construction sites for inspections (sub-division clearances etc). A Local Government employee, such as a building surveyor, conducting inspections on a civil construction site. The building surveyor is covered by Schedule 1 of the BCIW Directions and therefore they are required to be fully vaccinated to attend a construction site.
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia