Council is pleased to announce the reopening of a number of services to the public.
The reopening of Council services from 1 June follows the state government’s easing of restrictions throughout Victoria from 11:59pm Sunday 31 May. In line with the latest advice, safety measures will remain in place to ensure the wellbeing of community members and Council staff. This is a significant step in a staged reopening process that is expected to continue over many months.
Customer Service at the Hobsons Bay Civic Centre in Altona will open to the public on Monday 1 June with reduced opening hours, 11am to 2pm until further notice. There will also be a dedicated ‘community hour’, 10am to 11am, for the elderly, their carers and those that are considered vulnerable or requiring additional assistance.
Physical distancing protocols of 1.5 metres will be in place and a maximum of 10 people at any one time (excluding staff) will be allowed in the customer service area. Members of the public entering the building will be required to use hand sanitiser on arrival and those remaining on site for 15 minutes or more will be required to register their attendance. Please note that cashless payment options are accepted but cash payments will not be available.
Hobsons Bay Libraries
Hobsons Bay Libraries will open to the public on Tuesday 9 June, following the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. Each library will be open Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 6pm, and on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. Council is pleased to advise that the Book a Book home delivery service will continue to operate.
There will be a dedicated ‘community hour’, 1pm to 2pm Monday to Friday, for the elderly, their carers and those that are considered at risk or requiring additional assistance.
Concierge greeting, compulsory sign-in, hand sanitising and temperature checking will be a condition of entry. Personal protective items will be available upon request. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. The amount of time patrons can spend in the library will be restricted and sitting spaces will not be available (exemptions apply for those with mobility impairment or for pre-booked computer use).
Continual cleaning and sanitation will occur throughout the day.
Hobsons Bay’s community centres managed by Council (Laverton Community Hub, Newport Community Hub, and Seabrook Community Centre) will partially reopen on Tuesday 9 June. For the month of June, community centres will be open for booked groups only. Other community managed centres will have their own opening arrangements in place, so please check with each centre.
The Woods Street Art Space will also reopen on Tuesday 9 June for regular user groups. Inductions will be held for user groups to ensure understanding of increased safety requirements.
Visitor Information Centre
Planning is underway for the Hobsons Bay Visitor Information Centre to reopen on Monday 29 June, just in time for the July school holidays. Hours of operation will be confirmed during June.
Meals on Wheels, Senior Citizens and Planned Activity Groups
Meals on Wheels will continue with a controlled delivery service through the month of June.
Council will assess shared Senior Citizen spaces throughout June, and develop a plan to safely reopen those spaces in line with government regulations and the advice of the Chief Health Officer.
Council will also be assessing options for Planned Activity Groups in June with a focus on smaller groups, lower-risk activities and safe transport for clients.
Maternal and Child Health and Youth Counselling
Face-to-face maternal child health consultations and new parent groups will recommence on Tuesday 9 June with social distancing in place and a maximum of 10 participants (10 parents, each with their infant). These services will continue to be supported through phone consultations and virtual sessions.
Face-to-face youth counselling sessions will also resume Tuesday 9 June with continued options for online counselling.
Community and professional operators in Council facilities
Ovals and outdoor sports grounds are open to training. Groups of 20 people can participate in training for outdoor, non-contact and non-competitive sport. Council will engage with Hobsons Bay’s sporting clubs as they continue to open to ensure COVID-19 requirements are met and relevant code checklists are signed off.
Restrictions on indoor sporting activities remain prohibited until 11:59pm on 21 June. Council will continue to engage with Altona Sports Centre and Altona Badminton Centre regarding their return to play plans and checklists in preparation for reopening.
The state government has permitted leisure and aquatic facilities to open with restrictions in place. These centres in Hobsons Bay are managed by independent operators. While Laverton Swim and Fitness Centre, Bayfit and South Pacific Health Club are aiming to open to the community in late June, they are currently considering their operational decisions. The community will be kept informed in due course.
As Council services once again open to the public, social distancing and hygiene measures will be of the utmost importance. Visitors to Council buildings will be required to use hand sanitiser on entry and will be subject to a maximum capacity dependant on the size of the facility, as per Victorian Government physical distancing guidelines. Any member of the public feeling unwell must stay at home.
For the most up-to-date information on impacted Council services, visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
As noted by Hobsons Bay Mayor Cr Colleen Gates
“Our team is looking forward to welcoming people back to our centres. We recognise how important it is for some people to come and have face to face contact, whether it’s using the internet at one of our libraries or having a chat with one of our Customer Service staff while paying a bill.
“Reopening Council facilities will play an important role in activating the local economy. We encourage community members to visit one of our great local Hobsons Bay businesses while they are out and about.
“We are excited to reopen these services to the public once again. We ask that our community members be patient with our staff under these new ways of operating and reduced numbers – we are all doing it for the first time and want to keep everyone safe.”