COVID-19: Changes to Colac Otway Shire Services & Operations
March 24, 2019
COUNCIL MEETING CANCELLED
Colac Otway Shire Council has cancelled its 25 March 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting, scheduled to be held in Apollo Bay.
This decision has been made based on government advice regarding non-essential activity, and the health and safety of staff and community members. There are no items on the agenda which must urgently be considered by Council and these items will be postponed to the April Council Meeting.
The Local Law allows the CEO to cancel a meeting in the case of an emergency. The State Government has declared a State of Emergency.
Council aims to arrange for live-streaming of the April Ordinary Council Meeting.
COUNCIL CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Colac Otway Shire Council Customer Service Centres at Colac and Apollo Bay will be temporarily closed to the public from close of business today, 23 March, until further notice.
However, if residents have urgent matters which can only be dealt with in person, they can contact our Customer Service Team and arrange an appointment at either Colac or Apollo Bay.
Community members can call the Council’s Customer Service Team on (03) 5232 9400, or if they want to make an appointment to visit the Apollo Bay Customer Service Centre (including VicRoads) please call (03) 5237 6529 (direct line to Customer Service at GORVIC) - EFTPOS and cash payments will be accepted.
Colac Otway Shire Council, in response to the COVID-19 situation and on the advice of the state government, has temporarily close Bluewater from 12noon on 23 March.
The temporary closures of the Bluewater complex including 24-7 gymnasium, pool, stadium and childcare will be in place until April 13 at this stage.
Bluewater memberships will be suspended until the centre reopens to reduce the financial impact of the closure on users.
Any members who pay by direct debit will have their fortnightly payments suspended until Bluewater reopens.
Members who have paid upfront will have their membership expiry extended to compensate for the closure period.
This process of compensation will be automatic - members will not be required to complete any additional forms or make further inquiries.
Further information and updates on the temporary closure and COVID-19 situation will be available on Council’s or Bluewater’s websites or call Bluewater on (03) 5232 9551.
Colac Otway Shire Council, in response to the COVID-19 situation and on the advice of the state government, has temporarily close COPACC from 12noon on 23 March until April 13, at this stage.
Colac Cinemas and Colac History Centre will also be closed during this time.
We thank you for your understanding during this crisis; for further information, please contact COPACC or Colac Otway Shire Council.
KANYANA ACTIVITY SUSPENSION
All activities at the Kanyana Senior Citizens Centre, including meals on Wednesdays, are suspended until further notice. Members can contact Colac Otway Shire’s Aged Care & Disability Services on (03) 5232 9420 for further information.
Corangamite Regional Library Corporation has advised it will temporarily close the Colac and Apollo Bay libraries by COB today. Visit website www.crlc.vic.gov.au or contact your local library by phone or email for information.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, changes to Colac Otway Shire’s Maternal & Child Health service delivery are being introduced.
M&CH will no longer have an open session on Tuesday mornings but staff members will be available for appointments if you have a concern about your child.
We are postponing our first-time parents’ groups but again we will have staff available for appointments.
Appointments will need to change and M&CH staff apologise in advance for any inconvenience and thank parents for their understanding.
Parents who have no immediate concerns for their child may prefer to have a telephone consult with a nurse rather than visiting the centre and can call (03) 5232 9570 to arrange an appointment.
SALEYARDS ENTRY CHANGE
Sales will continue this week but really disappointed with response to entry change last week – people ignored our message that if you weren’t a buyer or agent, don’t attend the sale
Members of the public, including sellers, will be excluded from sales at the Colac Regional Saleyards as a result of the coronavirus COVID-19.
This exclusion comes is in line with measures taken by other regional saleyards including Horsham and Ouyen.
Access during the sale will be restricted to agents, buyers, transport operators and Council/saleyards staff.
The public, including sellers, must not attend.
Council recognises that our weekly sales are ordinarily an important social opportunity for our local farming community as well as a place for agricultural commerce.
However, we need to limit the attendance to only the people who are essential to the operation of the sale to ensure vital food supply chains can continue operating.
These measures are in line with recommendations from bodies including the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association.
Visit www.colacotway.vic.gov.au for regular COVID-19 updates
RATES COLLECTION REVIEW
Colac Otway Shire Council is urging community members experiencing difficulties to seek financial assistance under relevant Federal and State government assistance (https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus).
Council is anticipating that businesses and households will be worried about their potential inability to pay their rates because of reduced business income or reduced or lost employment, as a result of the COVID-19 situation.
Council has reviewed its normal procedures regarding rates collection.
Ratepayers who are unable to make payments will not be charged interest (we will review this situation before June 30) and will not be referred to debt collection.
However, to avoid the debt collection process, ratepayers should contact Council to discuss any outstanding rates, payment options and alternative arrangements. Please phone Council’s Customer Service Centre on (03) 5232 9400 to discuss your rates.