Working Together To Open And Protect Regional Victoria

Tuesday, 1st September 2020

As part of its reopening plan, the Victorian Government will release a dedicated regional roadmap – providing greater certainty to communities, tourism operators and businesses alike that restrictions will be eased at a safe pace – based on localised health advice.

Regional Victoria has done a fantastic job in following the rules and slowing the spread of coronavirus – and as Victoria slowly opens up, the Government will do everything we can to protect that.

Regional Victorians have responded to the call to get tested with over 100,000 tests since Stage 3 restrictions began. Supporting this effort, the Government has also established six new COVID Regional Response Units (CRU) to rapidly respond to any potential outbreak, informed by local knowledge of how and where the virus is likely to spread in local communities.

The CRUs are led by infectious disease and public health experts and work with DHHS Public Health staff to provide contact tracing, monitoring and support for people who test positive in the regions of Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, Ballarat Health, Goulburn Valley Health, Albury Wodonga Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital.

Recognising there is no one size fits all solution, the Government will offer tailored guidance not only to different industries – but to different parts of our state, with dedicated roadmaps for both Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Discussions are underway with a range of industry, unions and community organisations to inform the final work on Victoria’s roadmap to ‘COVID Normal’, including a separate roadmap to protect and support regional Victoria.

Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes will lead consultation with regional partnership committees, employers and unions to ensure we keep regional communities safe and help local businesses rebuild.

The Government will also consult with community support organisations on the impacts of social isolation on Victorians. Consultation will continue today with advice to be provided to Victoria’s public health team who will consider feedback as work on the roadmap continues.

For more information about consultations contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Regional Victoria and Melbourne are experiencing this virus in different ways. That’s why we need a dedicated regional roadmap to plan for – and protect – regional Victoria.”

“We want to open up the whole of our state in a steady and safe way. Because no matter your postcode, we’re in this together.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula

“Our dedicated plan for regional Victoria will ensure we can continue to keep case numbers low – and support businesses along the way.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“I’ve been talking to country communities throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so – making sure we have local voices shaping how we respond and recover from this virus.”