Over the past week, the Mornington Peninsula Shire has continued to monitor beach activity following the beach closure announcement on Saturday 28 March. This decision was undertaken following a directive from the Victorian Government and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for the Council to do so in an effort to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
After assessing beach activity and leading discussions on closure restrictions with DELWP, Parks Victoria and individual Committees of Management, as well as other bay-side municipalities, the Shire has been able to achieve a broad alignment of our beach closure restrictions with those managed by other parties to avoid public confusion and establish a consistent approach.
While our beaches remain closed to restrict gatherings, people will be able to access Mornington Peninsula Shire managed beaches:
- As a thoroughfare
- For exercise – eg walking, running, swimming, surfing
- For dog walking (on beaches that allow this activity)
Social distancing and mass gathering rules still apply.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Sam Hearn said this adjustment has been made to provide a consistent approach to beach closure restrictions in our municipality.
“The Victorian Government’s ‘Stay at Home’ message still applies for the safety of our whole community and beach access should be kept short and for exercise purposes only,” he said.
“While we recognise that our beaches need to be an asset supporting our physical and mental health over this time, I must stress that curbing the spread of Coronavirus remains a key focus and the message to visitors and residents remains the same, please don’t congregate on our beaches.”
Regular surveillance of the beaches by Victoria Police will be undertaken to ensure people don’t flout the gathering and social distancing rules.
Boat ramps remain closed for all non-essential activities such as recreational boating.
The Shire is monitoring the situation every day and will continue to seek advice from the State Government.