By Jackson Russell
MITCHELL Shire Council is supporting a ‘safety first’ approach to being placed under the same lockdown as metropolitan Melbourne but suggested a postcode-based approach could be more effective.
Face-to-face customer service will be available for people who are unable to access it online or over the phone.
Libraries and leisure centres closed on Thursday, with libraries offering online borrowing and activities and leisure centres offering online classes through their Facebook pages.
Youth rooms, playgrounds, skate parks, community centres, men’s sheds and senior citizens centres also closed on Thursday.
In a statement to the Review, council said it understood the shire was included in the lockdown due to its proximity to the Hume municipality, which has recorded high numbers of new cases.
“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,” the statement said.
Council also said the latest lockdown highlighted the need for state and federal government investment in infrastructure projects to support the community, and it was advocating for an economic stimulus package to support the shire’s recovery from the pandemic.
Mitchell Shire had six active cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, but council had not been given information on which localities those cases were in.
Cr Lowe said council would have further conversations about restrictions in the shire when it was deemed appropriate and if case numbers remained low, but now was not the time.
“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,” 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.
“We’re committed to standing by our community and neighbouring council regions. We’re all in this together. Please socially distance and stay safe.”