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Staying local will stimulate economy
May 25, 2019

Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram is encouraging local residents to start thinking about a weekend escape – to Apollo Bay or the Otways – so those who can, are ready to book as soon as unrestricted local travel is permitted.

“At the moment there are only five reasons for us to leave home but from June 1 when travel is permitted and we can get out and about, I urge our community to support our local businesses,” Cr Schram said.

“We know that as Victoria continues to slow the spread of COVID19, we can start planning for the reopening of cafes and restaurants from June 1 and easing of travel restrictions, and supporting those businesses is going to be essential for our community’s recovery.

“Travel and overnight stays are permitted from June 1 and eateries can reopen with restrictions, and we have so many great places to visit and things to see and do in our shire.

“We’ve been staying home and staying safe and when we are allowed to take a break, why not take advantage of all the fantastic, affordable weekend escapes on our doorstep and support our local economy’s recovery at the same time.

“Our local tourism industry operators, from cafes and restaurants to caravan parks and holiday rentals, have taken a big hit since the pandemic first started and affected international travel early this year.

“Apollo Bay and many of our small communities usually have a busy summer, and long weekends, before business quietens down over winter.

“But we need to really promote tourism and hospitality across Colac Otway to help restart the economy and benefit everyone.

“If businesses can get back on their feet, jobs will be created, our community will have money to spend and we can all look forward to the pandemic recovery phase with confidence.

“And it could all start by anyone who can afford a night or weekend away – when the government says it’s safe to do so - booking a cabin, a room or renting some form of accommodation, enjoying a meal out and even visiting one of the many great tourist attractions.

“There will be strict physical distancing and hygiene requirements to keep us safe, however when restrictions ease it will be vital that we support our local businesses as they reopen,” he said.

“Encourage friends or family to visit, tell everyone you know about what Colac Otway has to offer and although it has been and will be tough for our community, we will get through this recovery together.”


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