COVID-19 Update

While Victoria moved to Phase D of the COVID-19 roadmap at 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November, 2021, there are still some restrictions are still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For full details, visit the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 website.

The health of our community, Council's employees and volunteers is Golden Plains Shire Council's top priority. On this page:

Changes to Council's services, facilities and events

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Golden Plains Shire Council has implemented a number of changes to its operations to reduce the risks to residents, staff and volunteers.

As the situation evolves, further changes will be posted on Council’s website, social media, and on the Council News page in the Golden Plains Times. For any questions, please call Customer Service at 5220 7111.

COVID-19 Restrictions: Current as of Thursday 23 December, 2021

There are currently no restrictions on the reasons to leave home in Golden Plains Shire, but staying COVIDSafe remains important.

Face masks are recommended if you cannot maintain physical distancing. For more information on mask wearing, visit the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.

If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild you must get tested for COVID-19.

For the full details, visit the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website​ here or call the 24-hour COVID-19 hotline at 1800 675 398.

Proof of Vaccination

From 6pm, Friday 29 October, Victorians will need to show proof of vaccination to gain entry to most businesses and services re-opening across Victoria. Find out how to get your COVID-19 digital certificate on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

Changes to Council’s Services: Current as of Thursday 23 December, 2021
Customer Service: Open

Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn and Smythesdale are open and in-person consultations are available with staff, including from the Planning, Local Laws and Rates teams.

As per the remaining restrictions, all visitors to a Customer Service Centre need to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser is available at each Customer Service Centre.

While proof of vaccination is not currently required to attend a Customer Service desk, community members meeting with a Council Officer for a consultation are required to provide proof of vaccination prior to an in-person consultation.

When a community member comes into a Customer Service Centre for a consult with a Council Officer, the Customer Service team will request their check-in confirmation screen with linked COVID-19 digital certificate, COVID-19 digital certificate on their smartphone wallet, paper-copy of their Immunisation History Statement or an eligible proof of exemption.

If the community members are unable to provide proof of vaccination, there are alternative solutions, including:

Community members looking to attend a consultation with a Council Officer are encouraged to book ahead with the relevant Council officer to ensure they are able to meet the vaccination requirements, or an adequate alternative can be provided.

For more information on the changes to the proof of vaccination requirement at Council’s Customer Service Centres, contact the Customer Service team at 5220 7111.

To find out how to access your COVID-19 digital certificate, visit the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

Kindergarten, Family Day Care and Occasional Care

Following the end of the lockdown for Golden Plains Shire, all Council operated kindergarten, family day care and occasional care services have re-opened to all residents. For information on services and programs available, please call Bannockburn Family Service Centre Administration on 5220 7230 or email: [email protected].

Essential Council Services

Council’s essential services continue to operate:

  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Active Ageing & Inclusion Services
  • Recycling and waste collection
Change to Council's Facilities: Current as of Thursday 23 December, 2021
Playgrounds: Open

All playgrounds in Golden Plains Shire are open for play.

Rokewood Transfer Station: Open

Council's Waste Transfer Station in Rokewood is open for its regular operating hours on Sundays. For more details on the Rokewood Transfer Station, click here.

Library Services: Open

The Bannockburn Library and Golden Plains Mobile Library operated by Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) are open. 

For more details, visit the GRLC website:

Outdoor Gym/Exercise Equipment: Open

Outdoor gym and exercise equipment are open for use.

All users are reminded to continue COVIDsafe practices including social distancing, good hand hygiene.

Campgrounds: Open

Campgrounds in Golden Plains Shire are permitted to open, including at:

  • Inverleigh - Leigh River South
  • Pollocksford Bridge
  • Bunjil Lookout
  • Smythesdale Public Gardens
  • Haddon Lions Park

Campground users are advised to check restrictions and COVIDSafe settings at the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

Skate Parks and Bike Parks: Open

All skateparks and BMX tracks in Golden Plains Shire are opening, including the following:

  • Bannockburn Skate Park
  • Teesdale Skate Park
  • Turtle Bend BMX Track
  • Inverleigh Skate Park
  • Rokewood BMX Track
  • Rokewood Recreation Reserve Skate Park
  • Smythesdale Skate Park
  • Smythesdale BMX Track
  • Linton Rail Trail Skate Park
  • Meredith Skate Park
Outdoor Sporting Facilities: Open

Outdoor physical recreation and sporting facilities stadiums are open.

Indoor Recreation Centres: Open

Indoor physical recreation and sporting facilities such as leisure centres and sports stadiums are open.

Digital Hub: Open

The Digital Hub co-working space at The Well in Smythesdale is open for bookings. For further information, click here or contact Council’s Community Facilities Officer on 5220 7111.

Community Centres: Open

Council's Community Facilities including at the Bannockburn Cultural Centre, The Well in Smythesdale and Meredith Community Centre are open.

For further information, please contact Council’s Community Facilities Officer on 5220 7111.

COVID-19 Council Support

In July 2021, Council extended a revised COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for the 2021-2022 financial year, giving significant relief for local residents and businesses that need it the most. Council approved the following measures on eligible 2021/2022 rates payments:

  • Waive a maximum of $500 off rates at the principal place of residence for residents who received Jobseeker as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Waive a maximum of $500 off rates on businesses that received Jobkeeper payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Waive $100 off rates on properties for residents who can demonstrate a 30% or more reduction in income.

Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy has also been updated, recognising that Jobkeeper payments are no longer offered by the Federal Government.

The COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, and application form, are available to download below. If you have any questions about the form or applying, please contact our Rates team at 5220 7111 for a confidential conversation.




Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available for everyone aged 12 years and over in Victoria. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the community’s best defence and way out of the current pandemic.

For more information, including on where and how to book your vaccination, visit the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 website. You can also book a vaccine appointment at a participating doctor’s clinic or community health service through the Australian Government Eligibility Checker website.

Information on COVID-19

With a lot of attention in the media and online on COVID-19, residents may be unsure where to get the most up-to-date information from the health authorities.

The Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website has the most up-to-date information and resources:

Coronavirus Information

Get tested for COVID-19

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, please get tested. Testing is available at a number of locations across the region if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, however appointments are usually required.


If you have concerns about your health, it's best to contact your GP, or if you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep 000 for emergencies only.

Check current restrictions

All people in Victoria must follow the current restrictions from the Victorian Government.


Community Assistance Directory

Golden Plains Shire Council’s Community Assistance Directory is a guide for local community members to find information on the support services available during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Council continues to deliver its many community services across the Shire and we encourage residents to seek the support of the services in the directory, as needed.

Access the Community Assistance Directory

Be Kind Golden Plains

Golden Plains Shire is joining the Be Kind campaign, started by its Central Highlands Council partner City of Ballarat. The Be Kind Golden Plains campaign is all about bringing people together in spirit and encouraging kindness and support during the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. Visit the Be Kind Golden Plains webpage for information on community, Council and Government initiatives to keep one another connected and safe during these difficult times.

Be Kind Golden Plains

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