COVID-19 helpline has answered over 770 calls

Date published: 20 April 2020

Townsville City Council’s COVID-19 helpline has answered the call of over 770 residents since it opened at the end of March.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Chair and Mayor Jenny Hill said it is great to see the community calling for help to navigate the many new rules and restrictions put in place to manage the pandemic.

“This has been a confusing and difficult time for everyone around the world and Council wanted to play a role in helping make it a bit easier for the community,” Cr Hill said.

“We opened the helpline at the very end of March and since then Council staff have assisted with over 770 enquiries on a range of different topics.

“The helpline is there to help residents navigate the huge amounts of information coming from all levels of government and to get a nudge in the right direction – whether it be about what is classified as an essential service or if they just want to talk about what help might be available for them.”

Cr Hill said the most prominent topic had been by residents concerned about potential breaches of physical distancing measures, or those just wanting to hop in the boat to go for a fish.

“I think it’s very reflective of the North Queensland lifestyle that one of the questions we’re asked most is if it’s okay to hop in the boat to go for a fish,” Cr Hill said.

“While it may be okay in some circumstances, it is important that we follow the physical distancing measures outlined by the State and Federal Government’s and stay home if it’s not essential.

“If you are concerned about people that don’t seem to be abiding by the physical distancing laws, you can contact 13 Health to report it.”

To contact the COVID-19 helpline, residents can call 4727 9666.