Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) will handle most customer enquiries by phone, email and other online channels only from Monday, March 30.

TRC General Manager for Service Delivery and Sustainability Arun Pratap said Council’s Customer Service Centre offices at Toowoomba, Crows Nest and Millmerran would be open by appointment only from 1-4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for selected services that could not be conducted by phone or online. Council’s other Customer Service Centre offices will not accept face-to-face counter business from Monday (March 30).

“Council’s Customer Service branch performs a critical function in our daily operations, and we are positive that we can maintain our high service levels to the community across our other channels while ensuring we safeguard the health of residents and staff during the Coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Pratap said.

“This move follows careful consideration of state and federal government advice around the necessity for people to remain at home for all but essential reasons.

“We have noted a decline in the number of residents visiting our Customer Service offices in line with the widespread health and safety warnings and requirements for social distancing.

“A review of face-to-face enquiries has shown that there are very few enquiries which can not be handled by officers on the phone or via our online or social media channels.

“Numerous other local governments are shifting to a greater reliance on online contact to further avoid face-to-face contact.”

Residents can call 131 872 to book appointments on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 1-4pm at Toowoomba, Crows Nest and Millmerran Customer Service Centre offices for the following enquiries:

• Rydan touch tags (for water purchasing).
• Collecting or lodging survey plans
• Purchasing water meters (relevant to Toowoomba only).

Other services such as courier deliveries will be managed by appointment.

“In addition, Council will not accept cash payments for the selected services above from Monday, March 30,” Mr Pratap said.

“From Monday, the Toowoomba, Crows Nest and Millmerran Customer Service Centres will only accept EFTPOS, credit card or debit cards for payments.

“Transactions will not incur processing fees and there is no minimum payment sum for customers who use electronic payments.

“The decision mirrors a similar move to cashless transactions at all the region’s waste facilities that also comes into effect on Monday. (March 30)

“The total shift from cash transactions to electronic payments was made on advice from federal and state governments that was in line with community expectations around public health and safety.

“This sensible move is designed to avoid personal exchanges when dealing with cash to further safeguard the health of residents and Council employees.”