Mayor Steve Christou’s Weekly Message

An insight into what's happening around our local community.

6 April 2020

Coronavirus: update on Council’s services

In the last week, the Coronavirus health crisis has escalated. This pandemic is impacting on nearly every aspect of our lives so I want to give you an update on how we are responding.

As a Council, we have closed or suspended nonessential Council events, programs and services in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

We have closed our parks, playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, sports grounds and public toilets.

Council’s face-to-face Customer Service function has been suspended, however, I’d like to emphasise that residents can continue to contact Council by telephone or online. Public libraries, swimming pools, and community centres have also closed.

Essential services continuing are:

  • Waste collection
  • City sweeping
  • Customer Service (by telephone or email). Residents can contact Council 02 8757 9000; email or provide feedback online at
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Feeding animals stationed at Central Gardens and Auburn Botanical Gardens
  • Public health officers for any complaints; and
  • Safety maintenance for roads, footpaths and parks.

In terms of Council-run childcare centres, these will remain open, for as long as this is supported with government guidance, and our Centres are needed, especially by our emergency services workers and other residents working in essential services.

During these times of reduced service levels, Council will continue to accept development applications via email and online requests for planning certificates. Arrangements are also being made for the Cumberland Local Planning Panel to meet through teleconferencing.

Supporting small business owners

For small businesses in our local community, Council is currently offering a number of programs including the following:

  • Supporting Shop Local initiatives.
  • Council’s Scheduled Business Workshop and oneon-one Business Advisory Services will continue through webinar and video/phone; and
  • Crisis Management Webinar is being organised as a collaboration between Cumberland Business Chambers and our Council.

Assisting ratepayers

We know the Federal Government is experiencing a massive demand from job seekers with some economists predicting the unemployment rate could go as high as 20 per cent. These job losses have all kinds of implications for people paying their rent, their mortgage, paying their bills and putting food on the table.

Our Council has 76,000 business and residential ratepayers. Council is pursuing additional measures to provide relief for residential and business ratepayers. Please watch this space for further updates.

I want to thank our residents for being patient with us during these challenging times.

Please listen to the advice of health authorities. Practise good hygiene, don’t move around unless you have to and keep a distance of 1.5 metres or more from people where possible.

If you are over the age of 70, please stay inside. Call Council’s Seniors and Disability Team on 02 8757 9041 if you know someone who needs help and for more information.

For the latest Council updates on Coronavirus, go to:

New bus seats for Greystanes High School

In some news not related to the pandemic, I recently visited Greystanes High School with Deputy Mayor Eddy Sarkis, who was contacted by concerned parents about the state of the bus seats in front of the school.

Council has since organised for new seats to be installed. It’s the little, but basic things that are very important in looking after our local community.

While I will be self-isolating with my wife and children, I will still be working from home. Residents can contact me directly, or Council by telephone or email to raise any issues you would like help with. We will do everything we can to assist you.

If you have any issues you’d like me to help you with, please contact me on phone 0419 651 187 or email