Landcare Tasmania's response and FAQ
25 March 2020. We understand that you may have many questions on what to do with your Landcare group during these unprecedented times. We hope you find the following guide useful. Please check the Department of Health website or contact us if you require further information.
What is Landcare Tasmania's response?
As you will be aware, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Australia and Tasmania.
We’d like to update you on the measures we're taking in the Landcare Tas office, and advice on upcoming Landcare related working bees, events and gatherings in the near future.
The steps we are taking - outlined below – are both about protecting our staff, members and supporters, but also reflect our collective determination to do everything we can to play a part in mitigating the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Following the advice and recommendations from the Tasmanian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, we are implementing the following:
From Wednesday 18th March, our team will be working remotely on their normal work days. We will continue to answer calls, respond to emails and work with you on the projects you are rolling out or applying for.
We are available to help if you need to postpone grant funded work that is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.
If we are a little slower than normal getting back to you, please be patient with us as we move our meetings and communications online.
We have postponed upcoming information sessions and other events run by Landcare Tas. We will post the new dates as soon as we can reschedule.
At the time of writing, noon Monday 23 March 2020, some facilities and businesses are restricted from operating. As of 25 Mar 2020 gathering in groups outdoors is restricted to 10 people with social distancing. Please check the Department of Health for the most up to date information. Gatherings of people indoors (not including public transport, supermarkets, schools, universities and child care centres), have been asked to cancel. Events that don’t meet that criteria can still proceed but the situation is changing rapidly and it is important to monitor any changes that may impact smaller gatherings.
What is the latest Department of Health advice?
We have included some Tasmanian Government Department of Health Advice and information to help you make the best decisions for your groups and planned events.
Department of Health Corona Virus Information:
Phone hotline, your questions answered:
How to thoroughly wash your hands:
Should my group cancel our activities and meetings?
It's up to you to decide if you will continue with your group activities at this stage.
If people in your group have poor immunity or are older than 60, we recommend postponing your working bees and events until further advice is given.
If you choose to continue with your groups' events and gatherings such as working bees, everyone is asked to practice social distancing, i.e. no physical contact, maintain a distance of 2m from each other, cover your cough or sneeze, use good hand hygiene and clean surfaces and objects handled by others. If you feel unwell, stay at home.
Many groups are using phone and video conferencing to keep up with meetings. How to use Zoom at home.
Does the Landcare Tas Bulk Insurance Scheme cover members affected by COVID-19?
No. Sickness is not covered under Voluntary Workers policies (only Accidental Injury), so any contraction of this or any other illness by Volunteers would not be covered. They would need to take the necessary steps of being treated by their GP and get testing (which would likely be covered through Medicare)
What happens if we can't have our AGM?
The implications of not holding an AGM would depend on what is written in your group's constitution. Many groups are holding AGM's and other meetings by phone or video conference. How to use Zoom at home.
Can we postpone grant committments?
Please contact the funding body for clarification. It certainly seems reasonable to ask for an extension if your grant committments cannot be completed due to the COVID-19 circumstances.
Landcare Tasmania administers the Tasmanian Landcare Fund (TLF), and some of the LAG round 1 grants. If your LAG or TLF-funded project is unlikely to be completed by the due date due to issues associated with COVID-19 or other issues, please contact Landcare Tasmania as soon as possible. If requesting an extension to the project, please provide details of the reasons the project may not be completed on time. Recipients are also encouraged to review the funding agreements relating to their project, as this provides further information about your obligations in relation to the funding.
Anything to help entertain the kids?
Well, luckily Junior Landcare (a separate organisation from Landcare Tas) has produced some great resources and activities that align with current curriculum! We also think this one from Tinkergarden looks pretty good too.
We will be reviewing the measures we are taking on an ongoing basis to determine whether they remain an appropriate response.
The Landcare Tas team are here to help. We are passionate and dedicated to helping your Landcare work address Tasmania’s environment, land management and sustainability challenges. Please don’t hesitate to call or email us with your questions or projects.