Colac Otway to consider Step 3 of COVID roadmap for regional Victoria

Published on 16 September 2020

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Colac Otway Shire Council expects to reopen the Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre next week however it will continue to monitor COVID cases in Colac before considering changes to other operations.

Colac Otway Chief Executive Peter Brown said Council was ready to reopen facilities and staff were keen to get back to their positions, however the COVID outbreak in Colac would influence when Council would reopen customer-facing operations in Colac.

“Council will continue to operate and respond to COVID restrictions on the advice of the State Government, including a focus on supporting businesses reopening across the shire,” Mr Brown said.

“Council will also be mindful of looking at Colac’s situation with active COVID cases being very different to other parts of the shire where there have been no active cases recorded at all throughout this pandemic.

“Reopening GORVIC to the public next week will provide access to Council’s Apollo Bay Customer Service Centre, the VicRoads licensing service and visitor services, in time for the start of the school holidays.

“We have ratepayers who live in other parts of regional Victoria with holiday homes in our shire who may decide to travel here and tidy up their properties before fire season, or just enjoy being away from home – which they will be permitted to do.

“Other changes to Council operations or the reopening of other facilities will be discussed this week after reviewing the details of Step three and gaining further clarification from the State Government.

“There will be more advice from Sport and Recreation Victoria and state sporting associations which will guide the return to sports which can physically distance such as tennis and lawn bowls for regional Victoria.

“Further advice on the restrictions for eateries with indoor or outdoor dining areas and accommodation businesses will also guide the reopening of Colac Otway.

“Council is currently establishing a hospitality business recovery team including staff from Planning, Local Laws and Economy Development departments, who will work together to streamline the process for businesses considering creating or expanding outdoor seating areas to comply with new restrictions.

“Colac Otway welcomes the State Government’s new grant programs to support councils and businesses with establishing outdoor dining opportunities, and is looking forward to working with our business owners to safely and feasibly return to a viable post-COVID normal,” Mr Brown said.

“Colac Otway also looks forward to reopening all Council facilities, when restrictions allow and it is safe to do so.”