Port Phillip Council last night closed its libraries and suspended some Council-run events and programs under its continuing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The health and well-being of our community, visitors and staff is paramount. We are closely monitoring the latest developments and advice as we support the Victorian and Australian Governments' efforts to 'flatten the curve' in the spread of COVID-19," Mayor Bernadene Voss said.
"As well as protecting public health, these measures put us in the best position to deliver the essential and vital services our community relies on, such as waste collection."
- All City of Port Phillip libraries. Members are encouraged to use the extensive online resources which includes e-books and magazines
- All Council-managed and bookable community facilities until 13 April 2020, including Town Hall auditoriums, pending further government announcements. Refunds will be provided for events and programs cancelled within this timeframe
Postponements and suspensions
- The St Kilda Film Festival, which was due to open on 28 May, will not go ahead in its current form. Options, including postponing the Festival to later in 2020 or hosting it online, will be considered
- Social Support Programs, including Linking Neighbours and those based at the Cora Graves Centre, and guided heritage walks are suspended until further notice
Operating but subject to changes
The following are operating but subject to closure or changes pending further government announcements or COVID-19 concerns.
- South Melbourne Market (exempted from current mass gathering rules as a fresh food provider). The Market will soon announce a click and collect service in the York Street Car Park for those unable to go inside and is working to introduce a home delivery service in coming weeks
- Council-owned childcare facilities. Council is developing a contingency plan in case a centre needs to shut
- Maternal and Child Health Centres
- Delivered meals and the Café Meals Service for clients
- St Kilda Esplanade Market
For Council updates about COVID-19 and services, go to the COVID-19 page.
Council expects to make further changes as the situation evolves and will try to find ways of providing different resources, where possible, particularly for its most vulnerable community members, including older residents.
"We have not taken this latest step lightly and our hearts go out to everyone affected by this pandemic. We are also reaching out to local business groups as, while stock is flying off supermarket shelves, many smaller traders are struggling," Cr Voss said.
She said it is crucial for everyone to support others at this critical time.
"We have seen the worst – and the best – of human nature. I am extremely hopeful that we all will pull together. Be safe – and be kind."
Infection controls, including extra cleaning of public buildings and more hand sanitiser, were already underway under the activation of the Municipal Emergency Management Influenza Sub-Plan (adapted to cover COVID-19) on 2 March.