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Published Wednesday 8 July 2020
Tags:Media Release, COVID-19

COVID-19 restrictions response

Mitchell Shire Council is supporting the safety-first approach of the State Government, which has resulted in the Shire going to Stage COVID-19 restrictions from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Council understands the State Government response to the lockdown, which includes all of Metropolitan Melbourne, due to its proximity to Hume in the south which has recorded high numbers.

Council will continue to support an easing of restrictions in towns in the rural north of the municipality, if case numbers remain low.

Council will again call on State and Federal Governments to improve mental health and domestic violence services across the Shire with the latest lockdown a further catalyst for improved service provision here.

Council, in partnership with community and service provider partners, is working to reduce the alarming rates of family violence throughout the region and will continue to strongly advocate for improved mental health and family support service to all levels of government.

Mitchell Shire is ranked at number 10 out of 79 Victorian Councils for family violence incidents. Council was also represented in Canberra last year and led a Federal Election campaign which strongly highlighted the need for more specialist services to prevent vulnerable residents from the surrounding area from travelling up to two hours for help.

Council supports the 16 Days of Activism campaign each year and took the lead on the first ever Mitchell Shire Community Walk to End Violence which shut down the main street of Kilmore in December.

In June 2019, community leaders, practitioners, organisations and Council joined forces for a Family Violence Roundtable to plan for the future and take action.

Mitchell Shire is the fastest growing municipality in Victoria, and third fastest nationally, and the solid population growth is expected to continue into the future. The latest lockdown highlights the need for State and Federal Government to invest in infrastructure projects to support the local economy.

Council is advocating for an economic stimulus package to support our recovery from COVID-19 pandemic following the State Government’s decision to reintroduce lockdown provisions here.

To support the local economy and create jobs for the community, Council has highlighted a number of infrastructure projects, which could be considered by both State and Federal governments, including major road projects and community hubs across the Shire.

Council continues to serve as a gateway to support services across our Shire. If people need assistance, please call Council on 03 5734 6200 and we will be able to put you in touch with a local service provider right for you.

These services are:

  • Nexus Primary Health
  • Family Care
  • The Bridge Youth Service
  • Seymour Health
  • Kilmore and District Hospital
  • Lower Hume Primary Care Partnership.

Council is also calling on the State Government to provide further information around COVD-19 cases in our Shire.

The announcement by the Government on Tuesday has caused anxiousness in the community as it was suggested that numbers were at a high level. As of midday on Wednesday 8 July, active cases remained at 8.

Council has not been informed of the locality of those cases within the Shire.

Comments from Mayor David Lowe

“One of the greatest examples of community tenacity across our Shire has been our resilience and strong approach to keeping people safe when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. I assure you, as a Council, we will continue to make this our number one objective – keeping our community and staff safe,” he said.

“We need to continue to support each other through this. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again. We need to stick by our local businesses and play our part by checking on our friends and neighbours.

“As a sector, Local Government will need some support to get our businesses through this and stimulate the local economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we’re going to continue to advocate to both the State and Federal Governments.

“We are working hard to secure more mental health services and large construction projects – which is one of our top priorities to stimulate the local economy.

“The State Government’s announcement caught many by surprise. We have a hard-working business community who will feel the impacts of the current setbacks. While some things may be uncertain, know that we’re still here.

“At a later date, when it is appropriate and the case numbers remain low, we’ll have further conversations around restrictions in our Shire. Now is not yet that time.

“We’re committed to standing by our community and neighbouring council regions. We’re all in this together. Please socially distance and stay safe.”

This page was last updated on 17 July 2020.