Mackay Regional Council reported one employee was harassed by a member of the public after they refused to complete a COVID-19 sign-in and became aggressive.
Mackay Regional Council reported one employee was harassed by a member of the public after they refused to complete a COVID-19 sign-in and became aggressive.

Abuse and harassment ‘new normal’ under COVID

COUNCIL workers have been copping abuse as community anger over the pandemic boils over.

Mackay Regional Council reported a member of the public harassed one employee after they refused to complete a COVID-19 sign-in and became aggressive in July.

Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said this was not a one-off incident.

Ms Hays said staff members were increasingly finding themselves on the front line of public frustration when it came to complying with State Government COVID-19 requirements.

"Some members of the public are becoming abusive to service staff when their contact tracing data is requested," she said.

Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said council staff were increasingly finding themselves on the front line of public frustration when it came to complying with State Government COVID-19 requirements.
Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said council staff were increasingly finding themselves on the front line of public frustration when it came to complying with State Government COVID-19 requirements.

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Ms Hays said there had been a rise in the number of community members refusing to put down their details, particularly in the Dudley Denny and Gordon White libraries.

"We understand their frustration, however, as per the regulations, a condition of entry for council's public venues is that contact details are provided," she said.

Ms Hays said library and community services staff were being trained to accept this abuse as part of the "new normal" of life during the pandemic.

Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said council staff were increasingly finding themselves on the front line of public frustration when it came to complying with State Government COVID-19 requirements.
Community and Client Services director Angela Hays said council staff were increasingly finding themselves on the front line of public frustration when it came to complying with State Government COVID-19 requirements.

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"Our health and regulatory officers, who enforce council's local laws, have extensive experience in diffusing difficult situations, so they will be sharing some tips and techniques with staff at our public facilities," Ms Hays said.

"We are all in this together and council staff are just doing their jobs and doing their bit to stop the spread of COVID-19, so we ask for the public's understanding and support."



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