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Southern Mallee District Council response measures to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented event in recent history.  

Southern Mallee District Council has a key role to play in limiting the impact of COVID-19 and is monitoring the situation very closely.

Council’s primary focus is to protect the health of residents and staff and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. Evidence from around the world has shown that pre-emptive measures are extremely effective in containing the spread of the disease.

Our key objectives are to:

* Contain the impact of the disease

* Maintain a healthy workforce

* Provide leadership to the community

* Keep residents and business informed about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it

We encourage residents to:

* Remain calm

* Follow all state and federal government advice

* Implement social distancing measures, but not social isolation

* Look out for each other, check on your neighbours and provide assistance where necessary

It's important to remember, this is an extremely fluid situation and events are changing daily.

Council services

Effective 19 March 2020 Southern Mallee District Council has implemented the following range of measures to its operations. These measures are in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the health and safety of its staff and the community, while providing the continuity of vital local services.

Details of this are set out below:

Can I come to the Council office?

NO. Council’s Pinnaroo and Lameroo offices will be closed to the public. Council staff are still working and residents can contact staff by email or telephone for enquires and payments can be made over the phone or online. Council’s two depots are also closed to the public. This arrangement will be reviewed weekly.


Council staff will not be attending any non-essential meetings outside the Council area until further notice. Opportunities to join meetings by web-link will be utilised.

Council staff will not be attending any non-essential local community meetings until further notice.

Council hosted meetings will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Are our libraries still open?

Council supports library services in Geranium, Lameroo, and Pinnaroo. These facilities are managed by the Department of Education and therefore we are taking the advice from the State Government on this. In the meantime, we would encourage everyone (where possible) to set themselves up with OneCard membership whereby they can access free online borrowing/reading.

Are our pools still open?

NO. The two Council-run swimming pools in Lameroo and Pinnaroo will be closed for the season, with opening dates for next summer to be outlined at a later date.

Are our transfer stations open?

Council will maintain usual transfer station opening hours however payment must be made online or by phone after an invoice is issued. Cash payments will not be accepted. Residents are also encourage to minimise their use of the transfer stations.

What about our public toilets and other facilities?

OPEN. Council will keep all public toilets open and has increased the cleaning frequency of all public toilet facilities.

Will formal monthly council meetings still go ahead?

Council held its March ordinary meeting on 18 March 2020. A decision will be made in early April about the next meeting scheduled for 15 April 2020.

Is childcare still open?

YES. The Pinnaroo COGS and Lameroo COGS both remain open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to children, staff and community. No new casual bookings are being accepted. State and Commonwealth advice will continue to be monitored.

Is the Parilla accommodation facility open?

YES. The Parilla accommodation facility remains open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to guests, staff and community. Cleaning of the facility will be increased and information will be provided to guests. Relevant advice will continue to be monitored.


Community events and activities

Council is working closely with community groups. Council is encouraging all non-essential community events to be cancelled or postponed. Council is also working with community groups located in our community buildings to close until further notice. For example the Pinnaroo community gym and the Lameroo cinema have now closed. Council will waive any community rental for the period of closure.

Should my sporting club carry on with its season?

Most rural and regional sporting events, large and small are being cancelled and postponed. However, we suggest following the advice of your sports code authority (ie. SANFL, Netball SA, Cricket SA, Tennis SA, Bowls SA and others).

Health related business in Council’s community facilities

Council rents some of its community building spaces to health related businesses or essential services, such as the dentist and vet. These business are often essential to our community. Council will support these businesses to make case by case decisions about whether to remain open.


Council staff wellbeing?

Council is implementing a range of measures to support staff and in some instances this will include working from home or leave in the event of unexpected health issues with children, elderly relatives or themselves. We also have extra measures in place around the office to support a clean, well-sanitised environment. Any staff member presenting with cold/flu-like symptoms will be sent home immediately unless they have medical clearance.

Important information

Where can I find out more about COVID-19?

We suggest starting with SA Health. They have a great online portal set up with information for individuals, business, health workers and every other interest group. Follow the link here:

Where can I get testing for COVID-19?

Council is urging anyone who has travelled overseas to check the Australian Government’s self-isolation requirements online ( and for the community as a whole to observe stringent personal hygiene practices.

Should I send my child to school/childcare?

We suggest following the advice provided by your school or centre – they each have management plans for scenarios such as this and if closures occur, will be in line with policies set by the schools themselves, or by the Department for Education and Child Services. For updates, see here:

What should I do if I’m feeling unwell?

If you are severely unwell, such as having difficulty breathing, call 000 (Triple Zero).

If you have travelled anywhere overseas in the past 14 days and have COVID-19 symptoms, seek testing at a COVID-19 clinic or contact your GP (advise your GP of your travel history) and isolate yourself.

If you have NOT travelled overseas recently, but are feeling unwell, visit your usual health care provider. Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.

More information

Contact the National Coronavirus Information Hotline on 1800 020 080 for information about COVID-19.

NOTE: Council will continue to disseminate information via our Facebook page and in local media publications. Information will also be displayed on our office doors or on public notice boards.

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Fire Protection

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Fire Danger Season 2019/2020

1 November 2019 to 30 April 2020

During the Fire Danger Season there are strict controls on the lighting of fires and the use of certain tools in the open.  For information on what you can do and what you can’t do click on the Fact Sheet - Restrictions provided by the CFS.

The CFS has available from their website a range of Fact Sheets and brochures to help you prepare for the Fire Danger Season covering the following topics:

  • Planning to Survive a Bushfire
  • Understanding Bushfires and Warnings
  • Preparing Yourself
  • Preparing your Property
  • Pets, Horses and Livestock
  • Machinery, Storage, Permits and Restrictions
  • Preparing Your Business
  • Surviving while Travelling and on Holidays
  • Aerial Firefighting

Pursuant to Section 105(F) of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005, an owner of private land must take reasonable steps:

a)      to prevent or inhibit the outbreak of fire on the land; and
b)      to prevent or inhibit the spread of fire through the land; and
c)      to protect property on the land from fire; and
d)      to minimise the threat to human life from a fire on the land.
Maximum penalty $5000.

Preparation of your home and property throughout the year will ensure that you, your property and your family are given the best chance to survive a bushfire.  A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bushfire than one that has not been prepared.  Staying informed is also critical on days of high fire danger.  Look and listen for information on television, radio, internet, mobile phones and by speaking with your neighbours, do not rely on one source of information as power and online services can be lost during a fire.

The CFS recommends that you download the official South Australian Government Alert SA App which provides a comprehensive view of hazards across the State.  The Alert SA App provides access to timely, relevant and personalised event and warning information sourced from a wide range of emergency service Agencies, Government and Community Partners.

To find out more visit and to download the Alert SA App visit

Burning during the Fire Danger Season

During the prescribed Fire Danger Season it is prohibited to burn, however PERMITS MAY BE ISSUED from the middle of February, SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS.

During the Fire Danger Season almost all fires open require permits, below is a list of the following exceptions to this other than on a Total Fire Ban day include:

  • A campfire for personal warmth or cooking purposes provided the fire is contained in portable cooking appliance or a trench 30cm deep and the fire does not occupy an area exceeding 1 square metre and there is a four metre clearance of flammable material around the fire.
  • A fire for burning of refuse provided the fire is contained in a properly constructed incinerator.
  • Gas or Electric cooking appliances
  • Electric welders, mechanical cutting tools and gas equipment such as oxy equipment.

Please contact Council for further information 08 8577 8002.

Total Fire Ban Days

On days of extreme weather conditions Fire Bans may be declared for various areas in the State. To determine whether a fire ban has been imposed, phone the CFS hotline on 1300 362 361 or visit the CFS website.

Total Fire Ban Days

All fires are prohibited on a Total Fire Ban day unless a permit has been issued. However permits will only be issued in special circumstances. Note: Electric welders, mechanical cutting tools and gas appliances require a permit before they can be used in the open on a day of total fire ban.

Cooking or heating Appliances

The operation of gas fire or electric elements in the open is subject to the following conditions;

  1. The space immediately around or above the gas fire or electric element must be cleared of all flammable material for a distance of four metres.
  2. A person who is able to control the gas fire or electric element must be present at all times while it is lighted or charged.
  3. An appropriate agent adequate to extinguish any fire must be at hand.

CFS Codes of Practice

The CFS, in conjunction with Grain Producers SA, Primary Producers SA and the State Government has developed new Codes of Practice for Broad Acre and Vegetation Pile Burning as well as for the use of Prescribed Tools.

The Codes take into account lessons learned from recent out-of-season bushfires. They are designed as a guide to the South Australian farming community. They cover:

  • safe out-of-fire season land management practices
  • safe use of friction cutting tools and welders which may be an ignition source for fire at any time of the year.

Visit to view the following Codes of Practice

  • Wood Fire Pizza Ovens - CFS Code of Practice
  • Comfort Fires - CFS Code of Practice
  • Grain Harvesting - CFS Code of Practice
  • Bees - CFS code of Practice
  • Mowing and Slashing - CFS Code of Practice
  • Broad Acre Burning - CFS Code of Practice
  • Vegetation Rubbish Pile Burning - CFS Code of Practice
  • Use of Metal Cutting Tools and Welders - CFS Code of Practice

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Environment Protection Policy

The Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 ('the 2016 Policy') took effect from Saturday 23 July 2016,  Significantly, the 2016 Policy replaces and consolidates four EPA policies:

  • Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 1994
  • Environment Protection (Burning) Policy 1994 ('the 1994 Policy')
  • Environment Protection (Motor Vehicle Fuel Quality) Policy 2002 and
  • Environment Protection (Solid Fuel Heaters) Policy 2015

For the purposes of the new Policy the City of Port Lincoln is classified as a ‘non-metropolitan’ Council indicating that Section 5(2)(b) of the Policy is applicable in relation to permissible burning activities. A copy of the 2016 Policy is available at:

Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016

Council is currently reviewing its existing policy (No. 5.63.9) to reflect the new legislative requirements.  In the meantime residents should note that generally no burning of garden prunings or similar is allowed on the ground unless it is for fire prevention activities, food/beverage preparation, for domestic heating, scout-related camping activities or similar recreational purposes.

The following is an indication of permissible burning activities OUTSIDE of the Fire Danger Season.  A permit under the Fire & Emergency Services Act for any burning activities is required during the Fire Danger Season (1 November – 15 April)

(1)  Light or maintain a fire in the open on land using charcoal, dry wood or other dry plant material such as paper, cardboard and garden prunings:

a)  for the purpose of preparing food or beverages

b)  for a campfire or barbecue in the course of camping, scouting or a similar outdoor recreational activity.

(2)   Burn charcoal, dry wood or other plant material such as paper, cardboard or garden prunings in a brazier, chiminea or fire pit for domestic heating (Note:  Under the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016, burning of these materials on the ground is not permitted);

(3)   Outside the fire danger season and with the consent of the owner of the land, residents may burn agriculture or forestry waste, or burn off vegetation for fire prevention or control provided that:

a) The person complies with any mandatory measures of a prescribed burning code of practice that applies in relation to the burning activity;

b) The person has regard to any recommended measures of a prescribed burning code of practice that applies in relation to the burning activity;

c) Burning is to occur between the hours of 10.00am and 3.00pm Monday to Saturday inclusive.

d) No burning is to occur on a Sunday or Public Holiday or on a day declared Total Fire Ban – see

e) Stockpiles of dry vegetation must not be larger than 3m x 3m x 1.5m high;

f) A four-metre break is required around the area to be burned;

g) All flammable materials must be removed from the proximity of the burn;

h) Working fire control equipment must be readily available at the site of the burn (refer to the CFS and MFS websites and for further detail);

i) The site of the burn must not be left unattended if smoke/smouldering is still emitting from the burnt materials;

j) Smoke entering other properties must be minimised, so as not to cause a nuisance;

k) Multiple stockpiles must not be set alight at the same time;

l) Materials mixed in with the soil must not be burnt;

m) The following materials or any other hazardous waste are not permitted to be burnt:

i.        Tyres

ii.        Green garden waste

iii.        Plastic

iv.        Chemical containers

v.        Treated timber

vi.        Other materials prescribed by legislation

Note:  The Fire Danger Season commences on 15 November and concludes on 15 April each year unless extended by the SA Country Fire Service – see

For further information about permissible burning activities residents are directed to the Environment Protection Authority’s website

Information on the types of fuel reduction and fire protection works able to be undertaken by landowners in accordance with the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and Regulations 2003 is available from the Native Vegetation Group on 08 8214 4744

Native Vegetation Management

Reducing the amount of vegetation around your property is a good way to reduce the fuel a bushfire needs to burn.  There are rules to help manage bushfire risks and protect lives and property, while minimising the impacts on native vegetation, animals and their ecosystems.  To learn more about the clearing of Native Vegetation visit

Other Useful Links Your Guide to Bushfire Safety Brochure Native Vegetation Fact Sheet Factsheet bushfire safety Bushfire Prevention Activities Poster is a free message service which provides timely and accurate information from SA Power Networks regarding power at your property. Native Vegetation Native Vegetation Council