Easing of regional restrictions welcomed

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

The City is preparing to reopen a range of its public facilities across Greater Geelong, in line with the proposed easing of some restrictions in regional Victoria.

On the back of no community transmission in regional Victoria, the state government today announced that regional restrictions were set to ease from Friday 4 June.

However, the government has flagged that the proposed changes are subject to further testing and contact tracing and will not be confirmed until Thursday.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the lifting of the regional lockdown, which would allow freedom of travel and a raft of businesses to resume trade.

“This will give our community members a real morale boost and will be a massive relief for local businesses, who have been hit hard during the pandemic,” Mayor Asher said.

“I thank all our residents for doing their bit, following the lockdown rules and supporting one another.”

The City is awaiting further detailed information on the government’s directions before confirming which facilities will reopen.

Mayor Asher said the statewide lockdown, which would continue next week in Melbourne, highlighted the need for more targeted support to affected industries and traders.

“If snap lockdowns are going to be an ongoing feature of our COVID-19 response, targeted wage subsidy support for business from governments needs to be explored,” Mayor Asher said.

“Our hospitality and tourism workforce is heavily casualised, and given we enjoy a high proportion of visitation from the Melbourne area, they need a significant level of assistance.

“Council has a number of initiatives that are still supporting businesses and the community, from the $16.9 million in support packages we released last year.”

The following Council support initiatives are still ongoing:

•           Food registration fee waiver for 2021: $1.32 million;
•           Health premise fee waiver for 2021: $250,000;
•           A-frame fee waiver for 2021: $88,000;
•           Alfresco fee waiver for 2021: $39,000;
•           Planning for Jobs initiative: $885,000;
•           Small Business Expert Support Program: $100,000;
•           Geelong Business Concierge Service Expansion to support business program                        development
•           Outdoor dining and activation initiatives: up to $200,000;
•           Tourism and Events campaigns: $500,000;
•           Support for international students: $133,000; and
•           The COVID-19 financial hardship policy.

Anyone wishing to discuss their options is encouraged to email [email protected] or call 5272 5272.

There are also a number of items in our Proposed Budget 2021-22 that aim to provide ongoing support to community and businesses, such as:

•           Commercial rate approach – no increase to average rates;
•           Central Geelong Marketing support and review – removal of CGM Special rate;
•           Community Grants Program;
•           Kardinia Pool year-round opening;
•           Lara Pool early season opening; and
•           Free parking in central Geelong (second hour free).

Further information about support available and how the City is responding to the evolving COVID-19 situation can be viewed here

Page last updated: Thursday, 3 June 2021