West Wimmera chief executive David Leahy said the streets of Edenhope were "very quiet" and "anxiety levels are very high", as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
"There does seem to be a different atmosphere," he said. "It doesn't matter where you go at the moment."
At this stage there have been no cases of COVID-19 recorded in the municipality.
Mr Leahy detailed changes and challenges the council faced as the upheaval continued.
Council work arrangements
Mr Leahy said council had 20 people working from home and on remote servers and were reviewing how outside maintenance staff would progress with their responsibilities.
"(Maintenance staff) is probably one of the more ageing workforces that we've got and so we're trying to make sure that they're ok," he said.
"We'll eventually probably have scaled teams because there's some certain activities where we have to make sure we have people there if there's a storm and there's trees over the road we need to clear that.
"We're the VicRoads responsible arterial contractor so we've got arterial roads to be caring for as well. So there's a number of functions where we need to have some people but we might rotate who we have but we haven't done that yet.
"At this stage (rubbish collection) hasn't changed. What we are reviewing is how we operate our transfer stations because we don't have card capacity there, that's all cash."
In terms of customer service Mr Leahy said council had set up a triage system following the closure of offices to the public but did allow people to seek in person information "if it was really important".
He said personal care services for the community were continuing but "risk assessments" were carried out by staff on entry to the premises and personal protective equipment was provided.
"We have also shuffled the deck so that one of our staff is checking in on vulnerable people (by phone) and making sure they have basic supplies," he said.
Financial support for residents and businesses
Mr Leahy said council was reviewing ways to "lessen the impact" on businesses and individuals.
"We've implemented a process of trying to process invoices from local businesses as quickly as we possibly can.
"We can't put a specific time on it but we're trying to get through them as quickly as we possibly can to make sure the impact that they're feeling economically doesn't add to their anxiety around the fear of the spread."
"We've also done a bit of a review of permit fees and those sorts of things that are actually outstanding at the moment and how we're going to handle that with a view to lessen the impact on businesses and individuals where we can."
"Registration fees and those sorts of things for small businesses can be quite burdensome at the moment," he said.
"These businesses aren't really receiving an income so we don't want to increase the pain on them if we can avoid it.
"It's going to be a problem for the foreseeable future so we just need to make sure we don't impact them unnecessarily."
Border travel clarification needed
Mr Leahy said council were awaiting clarification about how residents, including several of their own staff would be affected by the closure of the South Australian border.
"There are three (staff) in Naracoorte, three in Bordertown and one in Mount Gambier," he said.
"Some of them are key personnel."
"So some of them we might need to manage remotely and some of them we might need to have some level of exemption depending on how far this goes."
"At this stage they can get here and get back but what we need to do is have the point of clarification from the emergency management people," he said. "So our mayor has been dealing with the police of both states to try to get a clarification.
"Border communities they are suggesting still have a degree of freedom of movement at the moment provided there's not a confirmed case in the towns that they're moving from."
Mitigating health risks
Mr Leahy said people needed to listen to the scientific advice and council would be unapologetic in the precautions they were taking for public safety.
"I think the key is the work we are doing in trying to identify and ensure some level of care for the people that are known as vulnerable within the communities," he said.
"People really need to take notice of the scientific of the best advice provided by the scientific experts," he said. "This is something that we've never experienced before and I hope we never do again.
"People tend to ignore expert scientific advice on a whole range of different subjects but this one they just really can't.
"And if we as government people get accused of overreacting to this and taking measures that are perhaps too severe, well I think we'll live with that.
"This things spreads at an enormously rapid rate and we really need to heed to advice and look after our families. It's hard when messaging comes from the government.
"It really needs to be community driven to a degree and we can provide the best advice we like and so can the federal and state government but people really need to take the advice of the health experts that have had to deal with this.
"The messaging out of the UK was really straight to the point - more people are going to die and you really need to heed the warnings, and that's what we've go to do."
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