COVID-19 update

Landcare Tasmania's response and FAQ

Latest update: 25 Aug 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 or the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus website for the most up to date information. The situation continues to change. Please 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Following the advice and recommendations from the Tasmanian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, we are implementing the following:

  • From Monday 24th August, our team is back to working in the office on their normal work days
  • As of July 2020 we have a COVID-safe work plan in place to conduct office work and event activities safely. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar as we and our member groups resume activities. It's always best to call the organiser to confirm that an advertised activitiy is going ahead.

What is the latest Department of Health advice?

If you are out in public please practice physical distancing.

Find all the latest information here.

Information for higher risk Tasmanians

Current business restrictions can be found here.

We have included some links to Tasmanian Government Department of Health Advice and information to help you make the best decisions for your groups and planned events.

Should my group resume our activities and meetings?

It is up to your group to ensure that you are acting consistently with current regulations.

All volunteer Landcare activities must be conducted in accordance with current legal requirements in place in Tasmania.  Rules regarding gatherings and movement outside of home have changed and are likely to continue to change.  It is up to you and your group to ensure you act in accordance with these requirements.

Many of our members and volunteers are returning safely to their activities. We would like to make sure all our members and volunteers are aware that different land managers have different requirements for volunteers on their land. Whether you work on Council, Crown, Parks, or other land, please contact your land manager representative before planning volunteer activites, as they all have different policies in place.

We would also like to remind our Member Groups that they have an obligation to protect the health and safety of their volunteers. The Department of Health has developed this useful COVID action plan, which is a self-assessment tool to help more vulnerable volunteers to personally manage their risk related to COVID-19.

If your group feels daunted by what needs to be done to re-start your volunteer activities safely, you may find this Return to ‘COVID safe’ Volunteering step-by-step guide from Volunteering Tasmania helpful.

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 may depend on what is written in your group's constitution.

We wrote to the ACNC for advice on this. In relation to AGMs they state:

" If you decide to cancel your AGM due to social distancing requirements and an inability to hold them electronically, you should consider alternate ways to demonstrate accountability to members within the context of your current operational circumstances. If you delay or postpone your AGM because you cannot conduct it safely, the ACNC will not take action against a charity unless there is evidence of wider non-compliance."

The ACNC has published other useful information on charity operations and COVID-19.

Many groups are holding AGM's and other meetings by phone or video conference. How to use Zoom at home.

Can we postpone grant commitments?

If you are unable to meet commitments under grants you have received, it is important you contact the funding body or us in the office for advice. Some grants deadlines have been pushed back and extensions will apply if your grant commitments cannot be completed due to the COVID-19 circumstances. 

Landcare Tasmania administers the Tasmanian Landcare Fund (TLF), some of the Tasmanian Government's Landcare Action Fund Round 1 grants, and a number of grants under the Communities Environment Program. If your project is unlikely to be completed by the due date due to COVID-19 or other issues, please contact Landcare Tasmania as soon as possible. If requesting an extension to the project, 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. We are available to help if you need to postpone grant funded work that is affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

We strongly advise all grant recipients to act early when any issues arise that might affect the delivery of grants on time and as specified in your funding agreement.

We will be reviewing the measures we are taking on an ongoing basis to ensure they remain appropriate and in line with public health requirements.

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.