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COVID-19: Update for Local Government
11 March 2022

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Message from WALGA CEO 
We are approaching another milestone in WA’s COVID-19 journey, with peak caseloads expected in the next week, in the order of 10,000 cases per day.  Whilst attending a recent State Emergency Coordination Group meeting, the Chief Health Officer indicated that the case numbers we are seeing are consistent with health modelling predictions.  
As we are now in a very high caseload environment, the critical worker furlough period has been declared.  

Some Local Government employees are covered by this, and WALGA has also received clarification that bushfire volunteers also fall under this policy.  

Although Local Governments can choose to register workers through this policy, this does not mean that they must.  In considering which workers should be registered, it is important to consider the risks and benefits of allowing critical workers back into the workplace.  Even with the requirements for the worker to be asymptomatic and have a negative rapid antigen test, there are still potential risks and the policy is intended as a last resort only. 

Local Governments have been playing a significant role in the COVID-19 response, most recently through ongoing promotion and assistance with distribution of Pulse Oximeters to vulnerable members of the community. 

WALGA has received feedback from numerous Local Governments regarding Special Electors Meetings which are being requested by anti-vaccination mandate groups in the community.  WALGA has continued to advocate to the Local Government Minister to remove the requirement for these meetings, or allow them to be held online. I acknowledge the strong advocacy of many Local Governments on this issue. 

I appreciate that the ongoing pace of change, requirements to implement and adhere to restrictions and the impacts of COVID-19 on the Local Government workforce is challenging. I ask you to please reach out to any of the team at WALGA if you need assistance:
  • Employee Relations – for employee specific questions 
  • COVID Response – for general queries regarding State Government Directions or restrictions 
  • Governance – for queries relating to Council meetings and procedures
Thank you to all Local Government staff and Elected Members for the amazing work you continue to do and the exceptional support and leadership that you are providing to your communities. 
Webinar - COVID-19 Insights from Other States
WALGA Employee Relations is hosting a joint webinar with the Local Government Associations of New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland on Local Governments’ management of COVID-19 in the workplace in other States on Thursday, 17 March from 11:00am to 11:45am.
The Associations will share insights and explore some of the approaches and practices adopted by Local Governments in other Australian jurisdictions to manage COVID-19 in the workplace.

This webinar is suitable for employees in Local Government who work in Human Resources and management roles.

Speakers will include:
  • Adam Dansie, Local Government NSW
  • Samantha Killington, Local Government Association of South Australia
  • Tony Goode, Local Government Association of Queensland
For more information and to register, click here.
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