Update August 2020:
AIDA made an application for funds for an oral history based project on the Aireys Inlet and district community and its responses to two radically different crises, 1983 and 2020, with a particular emphasis on what were the varied responses and what they might offer us as lessons. Unfortunately the application was unsuccessful.
Update 14th May 2020:
The Surf Coast Council’s community on-line Zoom meetings have continued over the past two weeks with much of the conversation being around the economic recovery post Covid-19 and what Great Ocean Road Tourism (GORT) and Council are doing to assist the community and local businesses. There was another catch up on Wednesday 13th May where there as discussion about what council is now doing in response to the lifting of some restrictions. The Shire sent out a media release with this information which is attached below.
The business recovery actions are summarised below.
Over the past weeks GORT has undertaken the following to assist businesses in the Great Ocean Road area.
- Coordinated weekly meetings with 6 local government area partners to discuss latest updates and share information.
- Attending regular tourism industry meetings and providing data on impacts to Great Ocean Road Region. Economic modelling has been done by GORT in this regard.
- Organising business training sessions (eg. transitioning to a digital platform) for regional businesses. https://www.greatoceanroadtourism.org.au/business- training-hub/
- Developing a Business Resource Hub for Great Ocean Road region businesses. https://www.greatoceanroadtourism.org.au/business-resource-hub/
- Developing recovery marketing campaigns for when the visitor economy restrictions are lifted and travel can resume.
- GORT’s website updates regarding COVID-19 can be found at the following link. https://www.greatoceanroadtourism.org.au/coronavirus/Council staff from the economic development & tourism department are also undertaking the following actions:
- Discussions with almost 400 business to understand business status to inform recovery and support initiatives.
- Responding to individual businesses seeking assistance (over 330 discussions).
- Release of Newsletters to its database of 6,000 business contacts to inform of State and federal support packages relating to COVID-19.
MEDIA RELEASE: (Published on 12 May 2020)
Council reopening recreation spaces with some restrictions
Surf Coast Shire Council is reopening a range of public recreation and community facilities from tonight, in line with Victorian Government easing of COVID-19 isolation regulations.
Outdoor basketball, netball and tennis courts and sporting ovals will be among spaces and facilities available for use by groups of up to 10 people, provided users maintain 1.5m physical distancing and observe Covid-Safe hygiene measures.
Council spaces and facilities to re-open for use will include:
- · Beaches
- · Basketball courts
- · T ennis courts
- · Netball courts
- · Winchelsea golf course
- · Lawn bowls greens
- · Equestrian arenas
- · Sporting fields including ovals and pitches
- · Bike parks
- · Lookouts
- · T oilets at recreation venues
- · Community gardens.
“In line with the latest advice from the Premier and Chief Health Officer we are returning public access to many important recreation facilities,” Council Chief Executive Officer Keith Baillie said.
“It will be good to enable people to return to some of the healthy activities they enjoy after their periods in lockdown, but we remind everyone to keep observing the essentials like gathering restrictions, social distancing and maintaining high level hygiene with frequent hand washing and coughing into elbows.
“Exercise is one of the five reasons people can justify leaving home but the bottom line message for Victoria remains if you can stay home, stay home.
“We have been liaising with our sporting and community user groups informing them of re-opening plans and many of them will need to carefully manage how they go about their activities.”
Mr Baillie said clubs hoping to resume training should refer to official guidance being issued by state authorities for their sport.
Mr Baillie also urged Surf Coast beachgoers and park visitors to continue observing gathering and physical distancing regulations and heightened hygiene precautions.
“Our community has done so well in preventing the spread of the virus, now this is another critical stage,” Mr Baillie said.
“Easing of restrictions will mean increased risk of transmission. We can’t let any casual attitude undo the good work. Please maintain good hygiene habits like regular hand washing and continue to take care of yourself and those around you.”
The Victorian Government’s easing of isolation regulations will take effect from 11.59pm today.
Surf Coast Shire facilities which will remain closed include:
- · Skate parks
- · Playgrounds
- · Public barbecues
- · Drinking fountains
- · Outdoor fitness equipment
- · Indoor sports facilities
- · Sports pavilions and change rooms
- · Community halls and centres
- · Winchelsea RV Park.
Mr Baillie said Council was working through the implications of today’s Victorian Government announcement on students returning to school and is awaiting guidance on the approach to fully re-open kindergartens.
Update 22nd April 2020:
The Community Zoom group that the Shire set up met again on Wednesday 22 April although with fewer community members joining in.
Our Ward Councillors, Margot Smith and Tony Revell reported that there seemed to be a lot more people out and about and travelling last weekend (maybe because the surf was good) and noted that the messages about staying at home and social distancing needed to be reinforced.
They also reported that some of council’s in-home Aged Care services had been stopped but they had now worked through how these can be delivered in the current situation and they will be reinstated.
Rates notices (and animal registrations) will be out this week as there is a legal requirement that they get sent out. Reference to Council’s hardship policy will be included for ratepayers under financial pressure.
The council is also starting to look at what might be needed to support an economic recovery.
There was a general discussion about the need for people to feel connected and to make sure the whole community feels supported and ways this might be achieved.
The Shire has developed a page on its website that has comprehensive information and lists of resources that could be of assistance. Go to:
Update 15th April 2020:
The third Zoom meeting with the Anglesea Ward Councillors, the Surf Coast Shire Community Support Team and some community members was held on Wednesday 15 April.
The Ward Councillors reported that the Easter break went well from their point of view and there is no reason at the moment to change the Shire’s decision to keep its beaches open for swimming, surfing and other exercise options.
The Council will have its monthly meeting on April 28 but will only consider 4 items, including the draft budget. The council will meet outside with a reduced number of Councillors to ensure social distancing is maintained.
In the pre-COVID-19 world we were told the planning application for the private bridge across the Painkalac Creek would be considered at the April 28 meeting. This is no longer the case and it will be considered at a later date. The council meeting will be recorded but not live-streamed.
A Facebook page has been set up for the Aireys, Fairhaven, Moggs Creek and Eastern View Community to share information and keep in touch. It is 3231 Surfcoast Connection. If you’ve not already joined the AIDA Facebook page please do: AIDA – Aireys Inlet & District Association. Join both Facebook pages and stay in touch with your community.
The Anglesea Baptist Church is setting up a food collection and distribution network for those in the community who are in need. There are discussions about including the Aireys Church Community with this initiative.
If you need any help please get in touch with the Shire’s Community Support Team.