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Coronavirus - latest news

CORONAVIRUS - LATEST NEWS

1 April, 9.45am - CORONAVIRUS APP AVAILABLE

Check out the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app which provides info about how to protect yourself and others, hygiene, social distancing, public gatherings and testing. THE APP CAN ALSO BE USED TO PROVE YOUR WHEREABOUTS DURING SELF ISOLATION. For more information visit the Department of Health website or download from Apple Store or Google Play.

31 March 4.25pm - COUNCIL CUSTOMER SERVICE ONLINE/PHONE ONLY

To help protect community from the spread of coronavirus, Council’s office at 10 Furneaux Street will be closed to visitors from tomorrow, Wednesday 1 April. But we are still working hard, and can answer all your enquiries online by or you can talk to us by phoning 4082 0500. Thank you for your understanding. 

31 March, 12.55pm - TRAVEL RESTRICTION QUARANTINE ACCOMMODATION SUPPORT

Anyone who has been displaced from their home in Cook, Wujal Wujal or Hope Vale shires and is unable to find or afford accommodation to isolate prior to re-entering the shires due to the Federal Government’s travel restrictions can discuss emergency accommodation by phoning the Department of Housing and Public Works 24 hour hotline on 0436 634 148.

31 March, 11.15am - WUJAL WUJAL, AYTON, BLOOMFIELD VALLEY ENTRY PERMIT

Entry to the Wujal Wujal-Ayton-Bloomfield Valley area is restricted to essential services and those people needing to leave and re-enter the area for essential medical treatment or to perform essential services. A Police road check point is in place at Mt Louis Station to control entry. Persons without a permit will be denied entry. This action has been implemented under Section 77 of the Disaster Management Act 2003 (QLD). All enquiries should be directed to the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council on 4083 9100, or an application form can be downloaded here.

30 March, 11.30am - PLAYGROUNDS, BARBECUES, SKATE PARKS, OUTDOOR GYM EQUIPMENT CLOSED

Following the latest advice from the Federal Government, and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, Council has closed all public playgrounds, barbecues, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment stations in Cook Shire. 

28 March, 4pm - COOK, WUJAL WUJAL AND HOPE VALE SHIRE ENTRY PERMIT 

New Commonwealth legislation to protect the Cape from coronavirus came into force at midnight on 26 March 2020.

This has changed the way in which councils in Northern Queensland are involved in the protection of the public.  Until we received advice from the State as to how this new legislation would be implemented, Council’s existing application process continued.  

The State Government is now controlling the entry process to Cook Shire and other designated areas on Cape York.  The categories for eligibility for entry are contained in this legislation

Please be aware that if you are not conducting an essential activity, as listed in the legislation, you will need to demonstrate you:

  • Have been isolated from the general public for 14 days before entry into the Shire;
  • Have not shown signs and symptoms of coronavirus;
  • You not been exposed to the virus or to someone with symptoms of coronavirus.

Further information from the State is being requested.

The Queensland Police are responsible for strictly assessing eligibility for entry based on the criteria contained in the legislation.  Police will be stationed at the Mt Carbine Control Point on the Mulligan Highway, airports and sea ports. An Application Form is no longer necessary for entry.

This new legislation now overrides the previous application process developed by Cook Shire.  

For further information, call the Queensland Government Helpline on 13 74 68 

Now that this process is being managed by the State under the laws of the Commonwealth, Cook Shire must in turn follow these laws.

We fully appreciate that circumstances are changing rapidly and we will continue to provide information to the community as it comes to hand.

26 March, 6.20pm - COEN ACCESS RESTRICTED

Queensland Police have installed a 24 hour police control point south of Coen to further limit Cape York access to essential travel only. Unauthorised travellers will not be permitted to pass and may be sent out of Cook Shire. Entry to Cook Shire remains by permit only, with travel within the Shire for local residents permitted. However the recommendation is to travel only when absolutely necessary, and to stay within your town or suburb. If leaving Cook Shire, you will not be permitted to re-enter without a valid single use entry permit and 14 days prior self-isolation. As soon as further details of the Coen access restrictions become available, Council will provide an update.

25 March, 6.15pm - COOKTOWN POOL, WATER PARK AND SHIRE LIBRARIES CLOSED

Due to government advice and in the best interests of our staff and the community's health, the Cooktown Pool and Water Park will be closed from 6pm today. The Cooktown and Ayton libraries will also be closed from today - however our library staff are still available by phone or email, and our online library services are still running. Head to the library page on our website for more information and to access a great range of online resources including magazines and ebooks!

24 March, 6.30pm - COOK, WUJAL WUJAL AND HOPE VALE SHIRE ENTRY PERMIT 

These permits are no longer required - please refer to the latest news above - 28 March 

24 March, 1.15pm - COOKTOWN EXPO 2020 POSTPONED

Cooktown Expo 2020 will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Cook Shire Council is planning to hold the economy-boosting event next year to help support the region. “We have no option but to shelve our plans for the Expo to be held in July this year,” Cook Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Linda Cardew said. “During the coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of our Cape York residents is of paramount importance, and holding a large-scale event at this time just is not possible.” But Ms Cardew said plans were already underway to hold the Expo in 2021, with a focus on supporting local and regional communities and businesses and providing economic stimulus. Council will continue to work with suppliers, contractors, businesses and communities involved in the event to renegotiate arrangements for the rescheduled Expo. “Council is also working hard on supporting our residents and businesses during what will be extraordinarily tough times ahead,” Ms Cardew said. “We will be launching a ‘buy local’ campaign in the coming days to do everything we can to help sustain local businesses, and we are enacting our internal business continuity plans to ensure vital services continue to be delivered across our Shire. As one of the largest employers in the region, Council is also committed to ensuring job security for our workforce.” 

22 March, 8pm - CAPE YORK TRAVEL RESTRICTION UPDATE

Further to the earlier information about personal travel on the Cape, additional information is now available following a Cook Shire Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) meeting this afternoon, in conjunction with Wujal Wujal and Hope Vale LDMGs. From 5pm today, Queensland Police Officers are stationed on the Mulligan Highway at Mt Carbine to provide the travelling public with information about access to the Cape and the Bloomfield Track is closed at Emmagen Creek. The LDMG resolved to recommend to the District Disaster Management Group (DDMG) in Cairns that Cook Shire residents may freely return home until 5pm on Wednesday 25 March. As this arrangement is yet to be approved by the State, we suggest that residents return home as quickly as possible. At this time, it not known what further arrangements will apply after 5pm on Wednesday. Additional information will be provided to residents as soon as it comes to hand. Please continue to monitor Council’s Facebook page and website for the latest information and advice about Covid-19 and personal travel on the Cape.

22 March, 10.23am – RESTRICTED ACCESS TO CAPE YORK

Council’s Mayor and CEO have been advised this morning that from 5pm today (Sunday 22 March 2020) the State Government is implementing restricted access to the Cape.
Police will be stationed at various access points to the Shire, in particular on the Mulligan Highway potentially near Mt Carbine or Lakeland to advise on travel restrictions on all non-essential travel to Cape York and Torres Strait. There are currently no restrictions on travel between any communities within Wujal Wujal, Hope Vale and Cook shires.
At this stage Council has no further information, but will continue to be in communication with the State Government agencies and other Councils throughout today and the next few days to develop appropriate procedures.
The implementation is under the control of the State Government and key messaging will be coming from the State.
Council will do all possible to ensure that our communities are advised of all developments as soon as the information is available.

ABN: 45 425 085 688

10 Furneaux Street Cooktown, Qld 4895

Mail: PO Box 3 Cooktown, Qld 4895

Email: mail@cook.qld.gov.au

Phone: (07) 4082 0500

Fax: (07) 4082 0588

Hours: 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Friday