Council expresses concern at Stage 3 'Metropolitan' restrictions
Published on 08 July 2020
In response to the Victorian Premier’s COVID-19 update announced yesterday, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has expressed concern for the health and well being of its community and the disproportionate impact on local businesses.
Council acknowledges the overall appropriateness of the State Government’s actions given the grave urgency of the situation and affirms the Shire’s commitment to support these measures over the coming weeks.
However, Council expressed apprehension that given the Mornington Peninsula Shire has been included as a ‘metropolitan’ council, the wider community across metropolitan Melbourne may interpret this as a reason to travel to the Peninsula and inadvertently put our local community health containment at risk.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Sam Hearn questioned whether the better approach to ensuring public health and safety on the Peninsula would be excluding it from the metro area to ensure that there couldn’t be travel from the areas with high infection rates in suburban Melbourne and committed to seeking a response from the State Government on this.
Mayor Hearn said with only one active case on the entire Peninsula we encourage everyone throughout Greater Melbourne to do the right thing and stay away from the Peninsula for the next six weeks.
Council also expressed concern about the Shire being classified as a ‘metropolitan council’ and the dire impact this was having on many local businesses.
With research showing close to 6,000 job losses, a 21% fall in Gross Regional Product (compared with 6.9% drop for Australia) and an 11% drop in employment opportunities a further six week lock down has the potential to send many local businesses to the wall.
Mayor Hearn said “We feel that this is a disproportionate impost on Mornington Peninsula businesses compared to other municipalities such as Geelong”.
“In fact we would welcome a conversation with the State Government about the rationale for our current classification as a metropolitan council when there are a number of compelling reasons to reinstate us as a regional municipality”.
In his announcement yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews reiterated there are only four reasons to leave your home:
Shopping for food and essential items. Care and caregiving. Exercise. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home.
Mayor Hearn said that while reverting back to Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ conditions is not where we want to be, I'm encouraging our whole community to understand what the restrictions are and to use their common sense over the coming weeks.
“We have been through this before and I'm confident we will band together as a community and get through this ".
"The highest priority is to care for each other by remaining vigilant, continuing to keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practising good hygiene. Staying the course during this next phase will make sure we all get through this”.
Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions commence at 11:59pm on Wednesday 8 July.
Shire offices remain closed. You can get in touch with customer service by calling 5950 1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about a range of local measures: mornpen.vic.gov.au/coronavirus