At 11.59pm Thursday 15 July, all of Victoria, including Golden Plains Shire, entered a snap lockdown to slow the spread of the current COVID-19 outbreak. 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 Tuesday 27 July, 2021
The Victorian Government has announced restrictions in Victoria, including Golden Plains Shire, will ease from 11.59pm Tuesday 27 July, 2021. Until then, there are currently only five reasons to leave your home:
- shopping for necessary goods and services
- care and caregiving, including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test
- authorised work and permitted study
- to get a COVID-19 vaccination
When shopping for necessary goods and exercising, you must stay within 5km of your home. In situations where the nearest essential goods and services are more than 5km away, you may travel beyond the 5km to the nearest provider. Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services.
Face masks must be worn at all times indoors and outdoors, except in the home.
If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild you must get tested for COVID-19.
A number of restrictions will remain in place following the end of the lockdown at 11.59pm, Tuesday 27 July, including wearing facemasks indoors and outdoors and caps on public gatherings. For the full details of the current and changing 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 Tuesday 27 July, 2021
Customer Service: Reopening Wednesday 28 July
Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn and Smythesdale are closed to in-person interactions until 8.30am, Wednesday 28 July.
In line with the remaining restrictions, Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn and Smythesdale will reopen at 8.30am, Wednesday 28 July. Consultations will be available with staff, including from the Planning and Rates teams.
As per the remaining restrictions, all visitors to a Customer Service Centre will need to wear a facemask, sign-in using the QR codes, practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. Hand sanitiser will be available at each Customer Service Centre.
Residents and ratepayers are still able to contact the Customer Service Centre over the phone, by email or through the Customer Service Portal on Council’s website.
Essential Council Services Still Operating
Council’s essential services continue to operate:
- 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 Tuesday 27 July, 2021
Outdoor playgrounds are open.
All playground users are reminded to continue practising safe practices including social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing of face masks.
Rokewood Transfer Station: Opening Sunday 1 August
Council's Waste Transfer Station in Rokewood will reopen for its usual hours on Sunday 1 August. 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) will reopen from Wednesday 28 July.
For more details, including on available Click & Collect services, 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, good hand hygiene and wearing of face masks.
All campgrounds in Golden Plains Shire are closed during the current snap lockdown, 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 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: Opening Wednesday 28 July
Outdoor sporting facilities are open from Wednesday 28 July subject to patron caps and density quotients. Community sport is limited to minimum number of people required to participate in and facilitate the activity, and spectators are not allowed.
Indoor Recreation Centres: Opening Wednesday 28 July
Indoor sporting facilities are open from Wednesday 28 July subject to patron caps and density quotients. Community sport is limited to minimum number of people required to participate in and facilitate the activity, and spectators are not allowed.
Community Centres: Opening Wednesday 28 July
Council's Community Facilities including at the Bannockburn Cultural Centre, The Well in Smythesdale and Meredith Community Centre will open from Wednesday 28 July.
Bookings are 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 Tuesday 27 July, 2021
Grampians Breast Screen Clinic: 27 July
The partnership event between Council and BreastScreen Victoria to provide local women in the Shire’s north with free transport, lunch and a mammogram screening in Ballarat on Tuesday 27 July has been cancelled due to restrictions related to the program’s transport and meal components, in addition to low registrations. It is important to note that breast screening appointments can still go-ahead during the current lockdown. For more information on breast screening services and COVID-19 restrictions, visit breastscreen.org.au/coronavirus.
Let's Come Together Coffee and Cake Session: 27 July
The Let’s Come Together coffee and cake session planned for 2pm, Tuesday 27 July at the Bannockburn Cultural Centre has been postponed until 1pm, Tuesday 3 August at the same venue. The program is part of a series of sessions by Barwon Child, Youth and Family with support from Council and the Victorian Government.
Council Meeting: 27 July
The July Council Meeting will be held virtually over Zoom on Tuesday 27 July at 6pm. The meeting will be livestreamed and accessible to the public on Council’s website and YouTube channel. Public presentations, questions, and submissions will be able to be made virtually through Zoom. The agenda will be published on Friday 23 July here.
Youth Groups and Activites
With public gatherings to be limited to only 10 people, Council's weekly youth spaces, programs and activities will not return until at least Tuesday 3 August.
For more information, contact the Youth Development Team via [email protected] or call / text 0422 101 109.
Golden Plains Community Bus: Begins 29 July
The Golden Plains Community Bus will begin its trial on Thursday 29 July following a delayed start due to the recent lockdown. The Golden Plains Community Bus service will be operated under COVID-19 guidelines and all passengers must wear face masks. There are limited spaces and booking are essential. For more information on booking and the timetable, click here.
Community Strengthening Grants Drop-In Session: Resume 29 July
The remaining drop-in session for community groups considering applying for a Round Two Community Strengthening Grant will go ahead with COVIDsafe measures:
- Thursday 29 July – Inverleigh Public Hall, 71 High Street, Inverleigh
- Tuesday 3 August – Haddon Community Learning Centre, 396 Sago Hill Road, Haddon
- Thursday 5 August - Dereel Soldiers Memorial Hall, 14 Swamp Street, Dereel
- Tuesday 10 August – Bannockburn Cultural Centre, 27 High Street, Bannockburn
These sessions will be conducted one-on-one, with QR code check-in, social distancing, face masks and hand hygiene measures all in place.
Community group members can also contact Council’s Community Partnerships Officer directly to discuss their grant ideas and application at 5220 7220 or [email protected].
Smythesdale Structure Plan Engagement: 31 July
The rescheduled in-person Smythesdale Structure Plan engagement on Saturday 31 July will go-ahead at The Well, Smythesdale from 10am to 12pm. COVIDsafe measures will be in place, and all attendees will have to abide by facemask, physical distancing, capacity restrictions, as well as practice good hand hygiene. The online survey can still be completed until 12 August here.
Golden Plains Farmers' Market
The next Golden Plains Farmers’ Market is scheduled for Saturday 7 August 2021. Further information regarding this market will be available in the coming days.
In the meantime, don't forget you can contact many of your favourite stallholders through the Golden Plains Virtual Farmers' Market here.
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.
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.