By Jackson Russell
Mitchell Shire Council has closed all non-essential facilities and services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Closed facilities include Seymour Visitor Information Centre, Kilmore Leisure Centre and Seymour Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Council-operated kindergartens have closed from today in line with the State Government bringing the start of school holidays forward.
Essential services, such as kerbside collections, maternal and child health, and immunisations will remain open.
Mitchell Shire Council acting chief executive Mary Agostino said it was business as usual for many council services.
“Really, most of our services will be running unless things change at the state and federal level, we’re guided by them,” she said.
“We’re keeping open library service home deliveries, animal management, immunisation, roadworks, kerbside collection, parks and gardens, all our outdoor activities are still going.”
Ms Agostino said council was looking at how it could provide support services to small business, such as financial planning and directly supporting businesses throughout the shire.
“We’re looking at how we can assist with recovery, we’re working with Northlink,” she said.
“We’re keeping abreast of all government announcements and looking at practical things we can do locally.
“We’ll try and be proactive around using local tradies, get things going that we might’ve put off and make sure we’re contributing to the local economy and keeping it as alive as we can.”
With council unable to operate public events, Ms Agostino said some staff would be redeployed to connect with some of the community’s most vulnerable members.
“Our library services are closing on the front end so the people who are socially connected to the library, we’re going to call and keep connected with them,” she said.
“We’re not allowed to do events at the moment so those staff will be redeployed to connect with the community and make sure they’re okay.”
Council will also be working with health providers such as Nexus Primary Care, Family Care, The Kilmore and District Hospital and Seymour Health to support the community to recover.
Mitchell Shire Council has created a website dedicated to information about what it is doing, as well as general advice, at www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/COVID-19.