The Victorian Government's COVID-19 restrictions eased for Golden Plains Shire and regional Victoria at 11.59pm, Thursday 17 June, 2021, however, some restrictions still remain in place. For full details, click here.
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 Monday 21 June, 2021
The Victorian Government's COVID-19 restrictions further eased for Golden Plains Shire and regional Victoria at 11.59pm, Thursday 17 June, 2021, however, restrictions still remain in place. For regional Victorians, including here in Golden Plains Shire:
- There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home, but staying COVIDSafe remains important.
- There are no restrictions on travelling to metropolitan Melbourne.
- You can have up to five adults visit your home once per day.
- Face masks are mandatory indoors, except at your home.
- Face masks are recommended outdoors where you cannot maintain 1.5m from others.
- If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild you must get tested for COVID-19.
For more information on all remaining restrictions, 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 Monday 21 June, 2021
Customer Service: Open
In line with the remaining restrictions, Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn and Smythesdale reopened at 8.30am, Friday 4 June. Consultations are available with staff, including from the Planning and Rates teams.
As per the 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 will be available at each Customer Service Centre.
Essential Council Services Still Operating
Council’s essential services continue to operate during the current restrictions including:
- Family Day Care
- Maternal and Child Health
- Active Ageing & Inclusion Services
- Outdoor Works (working on site)
- Recycling and waste collection
Change to Council's Facilities: Current as of Monday 21 June, 2021
Outdoor playgrounds remain open.
All playground users are reminded to continue COVIDsafe practices including social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Rokewood Transfer Station: Open
Council's Waste Transfer Station in Rokewood is open for its usual hours on Sundays. Click here for details.
Library Services: Open
The Bannockburn Library and Golden Plains Mobile Library operated by Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) are open subject to patron caps and other COVIDsafe requirements.
For more details, visit the GRLC website: grlc.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Outdoor Gym/Exercise Equipment: Open
Outdoor gym and exercise equipment is open.
All users are reminded to continue COVIDsafe practices including social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Camping is permitted at campgrounds in Golden Plains Shire subject to COVIDsafe requirements, including at these locations:
- 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 are open 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
- Bannockburn Skate Park.
All skatepark and BMX track users are reminded to continue COVIDsafe practices including social distancing and good hand hygiene.
Outdoor Sporting Facilities: Open
Outdoor sporting facilities are open subject to patron caps and other COVIDsafe requirements.
Community sport is permitted for children and adults (restrictions apply).
Indoor Recreation Centres: Open
Indoor sport and recreation facilities are open subject to patron caps and other COVIDsafe requirements.
Community sport is permitted for children and adults (restrictions apply).
Community Centres: Open
Council's Community Facilities including at the Bannockburn Cultural Centre, The Well in Smythesdale and Meredith Community Centre are open.
Bookings are subject to patron caps 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 Monday 21 June, 2021
Golden Plains Farmers' Market
The next Golden Plains Farmers’ Market is scheduled for Saturday 3 July 2021.
In the meantime, don't forget you can contact many of your favourite stallholders through the Golden Plains Virtual Farmers' Market here.
Youth Groups and Activites
Council's weekly youth spaces, programs and activities have recommenced subject to patron caps and other COVIDsafe requirements.
For more information, contact the Youth Development Team via [email protected] or call / text 0422 101 109.
Council Meeting: 29 June
The scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday 29 June will take place at the Golden Plains Civic Centre. The meeting will be livestreamed on Council's website and YouTube page, however, the public gallery in the Golden Plains Civic Centre will be closed in line with our COVID-Safe Plan. The agenda will be available this Friday 25 June on Council's website here.
COVID-19 Council Support
In June 2020, Council resolved to allocate an additional $100,000 in financial support for ratepayers and residents experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 26 August 2020, Council extended its COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, giving significant relief for local residents and businesses.
Council approved the following additional measures on 2020/21 rates payments:
- Extension of interest waived on overdue rates from 30 September 2020 to 30 June 2021
- Support customer applications for:
- Deferring payment of rates to 30 June 2021
- Waiving a maximum of $500 off rates at principal place of residence to customers receiving JobSeeker as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Waiving a maximum of $500 off rates on businesses receiving JobKeeper payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Waiving $100 off rates on properties for customers who can demonstrate 30% or more reduction in income
- Continued suspension of debt recovery action from 30 September 2020 to 30 June 2021
In April 2020, Golden Plains Shire Council established its COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy, confirming a package of financial relief options for local residents and businesses to support the Golden Plains community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With State and Federal Governments taking the lead on major financial measures including the new Jobkeeper and increased Jobseeker programs to keep regular income coming in to households, Council has reviewed a variety of measures to alleviate the pressure of upcoming payments while still maintaining its delivery of important community services and its responsibilities as a significant local employer.
In its original COVID-19 Hardship Policy, Council delivered the following COVID-19 related relief measures:
Ratepayers and residents experiencing financial hardship
- Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for Golden Plains Shire Council ratepayers
- Suspension of all current debt recovery action for unpaid 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020
- Waive interest on overdue 2019/20 rates through to 30 September 2020
- Waive penalties for late payment on pet registration fees through to 30 September 2020 (note: pets must still be registered by 10 April 2020)
- New payment plans available for animal registration renewals
- Introduction of a Special COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for local businesses
- Commitment to pay invoices from all local businesses within 14 days to support cash flow
- Extension of time applications for business-related septic tank and planning permits expiring before 30 September 2020 can be lodged at no cost
- Refund of all permit fees for events and activities that have been cancelled or closed as directed by Government
- New allowance for commercial businesses to reduce their waste collection arrangements if necessary
- Free mentoring support for small businesses experiencing hardship
- Free promotion of local businesses on Council’s website and social media with Be Kind to Business campaign
- Dedicated COVID-19 business support page on Council's website with links to Federal and State Government programs
- Access to dedicated business support officer within Council for local businesses to receive individual assistance
Council will continue budgeted capital works as scheduled to maximise local business and employment opportunities
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.
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.
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 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has the most up-to-date information and resources on it's website: dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
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.