Colac Otway Shire Chief Executive Officer Peter Brown has encouraged anyone impacted further by Stage Three COVID19 Restrictions to seek support and find out if they qualify for government payments.
“We’ve had a tough five months, and the next six weeks will be difficult for many business owners, employees, residents and Council as businesses are closed or restricted and community facilities close their doors again.
“As a community, one of the most important things we can do is make sure that anyone who needs support is aware there is a range of support available and we need to keep in touch, by phone, online or send a card or letter in the mail.
“Colac Otway Shire has established a COVID19 Community Support Hotline (5232 9440) which we are staffing seven days a week for anyone who needs food packages, masks and other essential supplies.
“There are State and Federal Government support payments for people who are out of work because of COVID19, or need to self-isolate and don’t have access to sick leave.
“Council has a range of payment options for anyone who is unable to pay their rates or animal registration on time because of COVID19 and there will be no interest charged on overdue rates to the end of the year.
“There are also mental health services for anyone who is struggling and I encourage people to share numbers for Beyondblue, Lifeline and headspace with friends and family.
“In many aspects, our community has already enforced Stage Three Restrictions on itself in response to the COVID outbreak in the Colac area, and I commend our shire community on its willingness to take precautions such as face masks and limited activities outside their home.
“I also commend the businesses that have gone above and beyond with physical distancing and sanitising procedures to protect their employees and customers, and diversified to be able to continue serving the community through contactless delivery or takeaway options.
“I encourage the community to support our local businesses that remain open as much as possible and most importantly, support each other.”
Council/community facilities to close (or remain closed) for six weeks from Thursday August 6, in accordance with State Government Stage 3 COVID Restrictions:
- Bluewater Leisure Centre
- COPACC (including Colac Cinemas)
- Colac and Apollo Bay Senior Citizen Centres
- Public Halls
- Meredith Park (all caravan parks, camping grounds & accommodation to close)
Colac Customer Service Centre (Rae Street) and Apollo Bay Customer Service Centre (GORVIC) – Council services will be available online, by phone or email and the doors will be closed. Appointments can be made to address urgent matters which cannot be dealt with over the phone, email or online.
School Crossings – In response to schools moving to online learning, school crossing use will be monitored Thursday and Friday, and after consultation with schools, any with minimal use will be unsupervised until students return to class. An update will be provided to schools and the community on Friday.
Maternal & Child Health – Maternal and Child Health staff are available for appointments if parents have a concern about their child. Parents who have no immediate concerns for their child can call 5232 9570 to arrange a phone appointment. New parent’s groups are being conducted via Zoom, other parents’ groups remain on hold.
Immunisation – This week’s immunisation session (August 6 – 10.30am-11am) moves to Bluewater.
Council Meetings – Council meetings will continue to remain closed to the public and livestreamed via Colac Otway’s YouTube channel or listen to the audio recording on the website, which is uploaded as soon as practicable after meetings.
Where can I exercise?
Tennis Courts – can remain open, at the discretion of individual clubs and in accordance with COVID restrictions – please observe closure signs
Sporting grounds/rec reserves – can remain open for exercise in accordance with COVID restrictions (Please avoid Colac Central Reserve which is currently in use as Colac Area Health’s COVID Testing Site)
Walking your dog – Colac Otway Shire is a fantastic place to walk your dog, wherever you live, but please keep your dog under control and pick up after your pooch so everyone can enjoy their exercise.
Golf Courses – Golf Courses can remain open, at the discretion of individual clubs and in accordance with COVID restrictions.
Where can I get help?
Colac Otway COVID Support Hotline 5232 9440 Emergency food packages, essential supplies & masks
Colac Otway OPASS Services 5232 9420 (Meals on Wheels, Aged and Disability Care)
Colac Otway Rates Support 5232 9400 Flexible payment arrangements – just call us to discuss a plan
Colac Otway Business & Community Support Package www.colacotway.vic.gov.au
Colac Otway Shire’s website has information and links to other key COVID support www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/Community-services/Health-protection/Infection-disease-control/Coronavirus-information-for-the-community
Mental Health Support
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
Beyond Blue 1800 512 348
Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service.
Eheadspace 1800 650 893
Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends.