Mayoral Message: COVID-19
March 22, 2019
Colac Otway Shire, like the rest of the world, is facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainty however as a community I am confident we have the strength and compassion to support each other through this pandemic.
I want to assure you that your Council understands that everyone is affected by the COVID-19 crisis and every decision we are making - based on the State and Federal Government advice, which is the best advice we have available – is being made with the interests of our community at the forefront.
Our aim is to maintain services at the highest level possible while prioritising the health of our community, including our staff, in accordance with government advice – which is changing every day and we are working tirelessly to accommodate those changes.
Unless there is a dramatic change in the direction of this situation – a vaccine or immediate breakthrough in treatment – it is inevitable that more services and facilities across our community will close to the public to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Based on government advice and the worldwide impact we are seeing, this is looking like a long-term challenge - not weeks but months.
We need to maintain as many Council services and operations as possible for the best outcome for our community in the short-term and after the pandemic peaks and we move into the recovery phase.
As Council makes tough decisions about what is essential and what we are able to deliver and what has to be put on hold, we will make sure we are working alongside our community and providing as much support as possible to everyone in need.
Social distancing – and self-isolation where necessary – is vital if we are going to reduce the spread.
We are committed to providing services and staying in touch – and I urge you to do the same.
Colac Otway Shire Council will keep you updated on a daily basis via our online services – website and social media – through our local media and you can always pick up the phone.
Our Customer Service team can assist with any Council inquiry (Phone (03) 5232 9400) during normal work hours and our after-hours service can help if your Council inquiry is urgent and needs immediate action – I can assure you that this service hasn’t changed.
I ask our community to also try to continue “business as usual” where possible and within the restraints of social distancing and evolving government advice.
Support our local businesses, call your friends and family regularly, remember the elderly and vulnerable people in our community and consider how we can best work together to help each other through this crisis.
Cr Jason Schram
Colac Otway Shire Mayor