Feature Story

Mornington Peninsula Shire services gradually reopen

today30/05/2020 14

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The Shire has welcomed the State Government’s easing of Coronavirus restrictions – Step 2. The Shire is following State Government guidance and taking a staged approach, which means many of our services will open throughout June – with some necessary modifications applied to keep our community safe and the pandemic curve flat.  

For now, our services will operate differently with shorter opening hours and limits on numbers and time spent at the service.  

The Shire’s main priority is to keep our community safe, and only services that can adhere to the physical distancing guidelines and number limits will open at this stage.  

Procedures around cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces inside Shire buildings will be maintained to a high standard. The State Government’s cleansing blitz teams will continue to clean our outdoor hot spots, such as pedestrian crossing buttons, playground equipment and outdoor furniture.  

We will provide an update about further changes to our services following the State Government’s announcement of Step 3 easing of restrictions on 22 June 2020. 

What hasn’t changed 

  • Keep your distance – 1.5 metres away from anyone you don’t live with 
  • Wash your hands – and cough and sneeze into your elbow  
  • Stay home when unwell – if you have symptoms, get tested 
  • If you’ve been working from home – you must keep working from home. 

How will Shire services change during Step 2 easing of restrictions? 

Our parks and outdoor spaces  

  • Public playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor communal gym equipment are open for use with a maximum of 20 people allowed to use equipment at any one time. Physical distancing and gathering rules apply at all times.  
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after using equipment. 
  • The Briars is partially open, including the wildlife sanctuary, community forest, lawns and gardens with barbeques, Josephine’s Restaurant and Angus and Rose. The Nursery and shop sales will continue online with contactless pick up and postage available. 

Our sporting fields  

  • Football and cricket ovals are open, but contact sports such as Aussie rules, other codes of football and soccer, netball and basketball are still not able to occur unless modifications are made to ensure physical distancing.   
  • Groups of up to 20 people will be able to participate in training at any one time, in addition to the people running the training session (e.g. coach, manager). Sporting clubs should adhere to directions from their relevant governing body. 
  • Martial arts including judo, karate and taekwondo must be modified so participants maintain physical distancing.   
  • Indoor sporting activities remain prohibited until 11:59pm on 21 June. 

Our libraries  

  • Our libraries will reopen from Tuesday 9 June by appointment, with a click/phone and collect service to ensure you can access books safely. 
  • Reserves can be made via phone or online, library staff will confirm an appointment time.  
  • Physical browsing of our collections cannot take place in this first stage of reopening due to social distancing.   
  • There is no need to rush back to return your books, all loans will be extended to end of June and no fines will be issued. 
  • Public programs will remain online for a little while longer, including story time.  
  • Our Mobile Library cannot operate for now due to physical distancing requirements, but other outreach and delivery options are back, call us or check out the Library website for more details. 

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery 

  • MPRG will reopen to the public from Wednesday 1 July, with a new exhibition MPRG: FIFTY celebrating 50 years of the MPRG collection. 
  • Opening hours of 11am-4pm, Tuesday-Sunday  to ensure we can complete cleaning processes and visitor numbers in line with State Government recommendations. 
  • Public programs, workshops and education programs will continue online for now.  

Our youth services 

  • Programs where numbers can be limited, and physical distancing can be managed and controlled will aim to resume from Tuesday 9 June. This may include the Youth Advisory Committee, Mornington Youth Action Group, Freeza Youth Committee and Social Space.   
  • Remote activities through our social media accounts will continue. 
  • Our youth services are engaging with secondary and primary schools to offer support and our services to students.    

Community halls 

For now, community halls will remain closed with the view to gradually open from 13 July.  

Events on Shire-owned land 

Events, such as markets, on Shire land will not run until restrictions have eased on the number of people allowed to gather in public.  

Other essential community services like Meals on Wheels, Maternal and Child Health and Immunisation will continue to operate as indeed they have throughout the period of restrictions. 

More information: 

Customer Service: 1300 850 600

Written by: Swanny

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