Council following local coronavirus plan as situation changes

By James Bennett

Greater Shepparton City Council says any decision it makes moving forward in response to the coronavirus emergency will be guided by a Local Pandemic Plan.

Chief executive Peter Harriott said for council to remain consistent in its message it must follow the lead of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victorian Premier Dan Andrews.

Mr Harriott said council was aware and being respectful that businesses were doing it tough.

“Lots of people are doing today not what they were doing yesterday, and the change is significant and that's always difficult to deal with,” he said.

“From a council point of view we understand that individuals and businesses in the community are doing it tough and we'll do whatever we can to ease that load.”

Mr Harriott said in previous council responses to disasters such as bushfires, it could provide a refuge centre; in this situation it cannot do so due to social and physical distancing.

“This is a different situation and we just need to be cautious how we gather the community support.

“There does have to be social distancing. I'm sure we can work our way around it but it is going to be a little bit different.

“We've got to keep talking to the community about the issues.

“Things change every day. Last week we (council) closed Aquamoves, we closed the stadium, we closed Eastbank; tomorrow (today) we'll be closing customer service.

“We must keep the incidence down, keep that curve down because there's only so much capacity.”