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A message from the Mayor and CEO - Coronavirus and bushfire recovery

Thursday 26 March

Our community has been experiencing uncertain times for longer than many other regions, but no one could be prepared for what we are now facing.


As you all know, the drought rolled into the bushfire disaster and we now have a global pandemic which, like the previous two events, has changed our everyday lives.


You may feel that we are isolated here in East Gippsland, but we are not. It is critical that we all perform our role to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.


We ask you all to keep up to date on the latest restrictions put in place by the Prime Minister and Victorian Premier. The only way to limit the spread and help our health sector manage the number of COVID-19 cases is to stay away from other people as much as possible.


Social distancing is essential. We must take this seriously – don’t stand near others in the shops and only go out for essential supplies, and please do not buy more than you need.


Think about all the items you touch each day, and how many other people may also have touched them. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. Cough into your elbow and do not leave your house if you have flu-like symptoms.


To protect you and our people, we have closed a number of facilities and even outdoor assets like playgrounds. We did not make these decisions lightly. These decisions are based on the best health advice and a requirement to comply with Commonwealth and State directions under emergency provisions.


Our communities and businesses were hurting before now. But we are adaptable, and many businesses have adjusted their services where they can, such as eateries launching ‘no contact’ take away food services. Support our business community where you can, but make sure you follow social distancing and health precautions.


Sadly, the restrictions on trading that must be in place mean some businesses cannot operate at this time. We will do all we can to help businesses recover when this crisis abates.


We also learnt from the bushfires that in this social media age a lot of misinformation can be shared.

Please only rely on information from credible sources such as Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Australian Government. Council will relay information from these sources to help share the message. Visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.


Council and all available staff are continuing to work with our bushfire impacted residents and communities. In the face of the pandemic this will provide some challenges. However, if anyone can do it, it will be East Gippsland. We have shown time and time again we know how to stick together and are resourceful.


Please continue to reach out to us, via phone, email, website or through our social media channels.


Cr John White (Mayor) and Anthony Basford (CEO)

East Gippsland Shire Council



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