Colac Otway Shire Council has started scheduling the staged reopening of facilities in accordance with State Government direction, while reminding the community that a State of Emergency remains in place and the community’s safety remains the priority.
“The State Government’s easing of restrictions has allowed Colac Otway to reopen the Bluewater pool this week and the booking system which enables us to limit the number of people and observe physical distancing rules at the facility is working well,” Colac Otway Chief Executive Peter Brown said.
“We are all looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality, including getting our facilities open and welcoming the public back to Council meetings.
“However it is important for the community to understand that Victoria remains in a State of Emergency until June 22 at this stage.
“Restrictions such as social distancing, a limit on the number of people who can gather in one place and working from home, if you can, are all key parts to our government’s plan to reduce the spread of COVID19.
“Colac Otway’s plan forward is to encourage our community to support local businesses as they reopen, and if you do plan to go away this weekend, stay local if you can, visit Apollo Bay and our other small communities with businesses that have missed their busy Easter and traditional visitor trade that they rely on.
“Council will reopen its Customer Services Centres in Colac and Apollo Bay on Tuesday, 9 June, however restrictions will be in place, cashless payments are preferred, and the community is urged to continue using online and telephone services if possible.
“Our older residents are those most at risk, so while we understand they may not have direct access to a computer or smartphone, we encourage family or friends to assist with paying accounts or making inquiries about services to reduce the need for our seniors to leave home unnecessarily.
“Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre services will be open from 9 June, in conjunction with Apollo Bay Customer Service and VicRoads licensing services, which are all provided from the GORVIC building.
“Senior Citizen Centres in Colac and Apollo Bay will start to reopen from 9 June and Corangamite Regional Library Service will also reopen services from 9 June.
“Plans are being finalised for Bluewater to reopen its gymnasium from 22 June, in accordance with government direction, and COPACC is also working towards reopening as restrictions allow and physical distancing requirements can be met.
“Current advice will see next week’s Council Planning Committee Meeting livestreamed for the community to watch but remain closed to the public physically attending.
“Council expects to be able to confirm on 22 June if the June Ordinary Council Meeting will be open to the public, however the meeting will be livestreamed on Council’s YouTube channel.
“Hand sanitising stations and physical distancing requirements will be in place at all facilities as they reopen and anyone with flu symptoms must not enter and should get tested for COVID19,” Mr Brown said.
“We all need to continue to do whatever we can to support each other, stay safe and keep our community safe.”