The City of Greater Geelong welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that regional Victoria will move into the ‘Third Step’ of its roadmap to reopening from Thursday.
The ‘Third Step’ will ease a number of restrictions in Greater Geelong, with a particular focus on outdoor social and sporting activities.
In a much-needed boost for our region’s hospitality sector, indoor and outdoor dining will be able to resume in our hospitality venues.
The City is committed to working with businesses to quickly activate their outdoor spaces and to fast-track consideration of applications.
We encourage operators to talk with neighbouring businesses and their traders’ groups to come up with common aspirations that provide benefits for their precinct.
Council has already delivered an Economic Support Package to waive costs for alfresco dining permits, A frame permits and food premises registrations.
Further COVID-19 support initiatives are being considered over the coming days.
We encourage hospitality businesses to seek available grants of up to $5000 from the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.
These grants could assist with purchasing practical items such as umbrellas and furniture to assist with the move outdoors.
The City will also apply for $500,000 from the same Victorian Government package to help waive permit fees and provide upgraded public infrastructure in our precincts.
Under the ‘Third Step’, tourist accommodation will be able to host residents from across regional Victoria.
We encourage regional Victorians to come and visit us, safely, starting with the school holidays this weekend.
The City will launch a targeted tourism campaign through Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine, backed by $500,000 allocated in an earlier Community and Economic Support Package approved by Council.
The domestic ‘short break’ campaign will encourage residents from regional centres such as Bendigo and Ballarat to come and visit the Geelong and Bellarine region.
The City will also be able to reopen its skate parks and work with community sporting clubs to help them create a COVID-safe environment for training and matches.
Further information on the Victorian Government’s directions, including density requirements, are needed before finalising details relating to community sport.
The City has already reopened playgrounds and Kardinia Aquatic Centre will reopen for lap swimming on Friday 18 September.
Council has delivered $12.8 million worth of financial hardship and support measures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information on regional Victoria's reopening roadmap is available at www.vic.gov.au/restrictions-roadmap-regional-victoria
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher
Today’s announcement is excellent news and reward for the effort we’ve all put in to bring our active case numbers down to very low levels. While the damage to our local economy has been severe and will take some time to repair, the move to the ‘Third Step’ of the Government’s roadmap means our tourism and hospitality sectors can start to get back on their feet after a crippling period.
The Council is committed to helping cafes and restaurants safely welcome as many guests as they’re permitted by expanding their outdoor dining offering. We’re inviting proposals from businesses and trader groups for use of Council-managed spaces, and we know it’s important that this process is fast and efficient. Our tourism sector is looking forward to welcoming back visitors from other parts of regional Victoria.
It’s important that this movement of people is managed well, with a focus on encouraging outdoor activities and maintaining the required physical distancing and good hygiene. The City will be promoting to residents and visitors to safely embrace the space here in Greater Geelong and make use of our many beautiful outdoor environments. Having come this far, it is now vital that we all continue to do everything we can to keep our numbers low and protect the health of our community and visitors, as we begin to open up.