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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: For the latest COVID-19 information and changes to Council services, click here.


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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 Friday 1 October

While regional Victoria (except Mitchell Shire) is no longer in lockdown, restrictions are still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home in Golden Plains Shire, but staying COVIDSafe remains important. Restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne, Mitchell Shire, Latrobe City and Moorabool Shire however residents can travel to other parts of regional Victoria. 

Face masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors for people aged 12 and over and are highly recommended for primary school aged children. You do not need to wear a mask in your own home, or if a lawful exception applies. For more information on mask wearing, visit the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.

Private gatherings in the home are not currently permitted and are limited outdoors in a public place to 10 people.

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.

Changes to Council’s Services: Current as of Friday 1 October, 2021

Customer Service: Open

Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn and Smythesdale reopened at 8.30am, Friday 10 September. Following the recent City of Ballarat, City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire lockdowns, in-person consultations are once again 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 wear a face mask, sign-in using the QR codes, practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser is available at each Customer Service Centre.

With restrictions applying to Melbourne, Mitchell Shire, Latrobe City and Moorabool Shire, ratepayers who reside in these areas are unable to visit a Customer Service Centre at this time. The Customer Service team will check IDs, reflecting the Victorian Government guidelines for businesses and restaurants, and Council appreciates the cooperation and understanding of our residents.

Customers are still be able to contact the Customer Service team remotely by:

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 in regional Victoria (except Mitchell Shire). 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

Outdoor Works: Lockdown impacts

The lockdowns in surrounding local government areas and the current restrictions on construction sites will impact activity on road and community infrastructure projects in Golden Plains Shire during the week of Monday 20 September. Construction will resume as soon as possible, in line with the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Council thanks residents for their understanding.

Golden Plains Community Bus Changes

​With the City of Ballarat and City of Greater Geelong lockdowns over, the Golden Plains Community Bus has resumed both timetables. Bookings have reopened for the services, which are operated under COVIDSafe practices. To read the timetable and book a seat, click here.

Change to Council's Facilities: Current as of Friday 1 October, 2021

Playgrounds: Open

In line with Victorian Government restrictions, all playgrounds in Golden Plains Shire reopened from 11.59pm, Thursday 2 September.

As per the government directive, playgrounds will be open for children under 12 years, with only one parent or carer to accompany them. Adults should not remove their masks to eat or drink while there.

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 and wearing of face masks.

Campgrounds: Closed

All campgrounds in Golden Plains Shire are currently closed, including:

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

Skate Parks and Bike Parks: Open

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

  • 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

Please note: The Victoria Park Skate Park in Bannockburn is now closed until mid-November due to construction on its upgrade. For more information on the project, click here.

Outdoor Sporting Facilities: Open

Outdoor sporting facilities are open for training only with the minimum number required to train, and spectators are not be allowed.

Indoor Recreation Centres: Closed

Indoor sport and recreation facilities are currently closed.

Digital Hub: Open

The Digital Hub co-working space at The Well in Smythesdale is open for bookings. Bookings will be subject to density quotients, patron caps, wearing of face masks and other COVIDsafe requirements. 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.

Bookings will be subject to density quotients, patron caps, wearing of face masks and other COVIDsafe requirements. For further information, please contact Council’s Community Facilities Officer on 5220 7111.

Change to Events, Engagements and Programs: Current as of Friday 1 October, 2021

Let's Come Together - Teesdale: Rescheduled

The Let's Come Together coffee and tea mental health session originally scheduled for 2pm, Tuesday 28 September has been rescheduled for 9.30am on Tuesday 5 October.

Golden Plains Farmers' Market: 2 October

Council is looking forward to welcoming market-goers and stallholders back to the Golden Plains Farmers’ Market in a COVIDSafe manner for the October market on Saturday 2 October. 

The market will operate in line with the Victorian Government’s COVIDSafe guidelines to ensure health and safety of market-goers and stallholders. All market-goers will need to scan in using a QR-code at one of the three entry points, wear a face mask and practice 1.5m physical distancing. Manual registration will also be available for market-goers unable to scan a QR-code, and hand sanitiser will be available at all entry and exit points, along with at stalls.

Please note that due to restrictions, visitors from locked down areas in metropolitan Melbourne, Mitchell Shire, Latrobe City and Moorabool Shire are unable to attend, however, Council hopes to be able to welcome them back to the market some time soon.

In the meantime, you can contact many of your favourite stallholders remotely at the Golden Plains Virtual Farmers’ Market.

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

More Information

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Page Last Updated:

Friday, 1 October 2021 - 6:38pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.