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Campaspe Shire would welcome further easing of restrictions

By Brayden May

REGIONAL Victorian towns could take the next step towards the new COVID normal as soon as Wednesday.

Towns including Rochester only moved to step two at 11.59pm on Sunday as case numbers continued to drop across the state.

Step three would be greater freedom of movement for the community with the news welcomed by Campaspe Shire Council mayor Adrian Weston.

“We would welcome an announcement for regional Victoria to move to step three in line with the State Government’s Roadmap to Reopening,” Cr Weston said.

“Any easing of restrictions to support businesses safely opening, or increasing trade, would greatly assist our business sector.

“Until operating restriction details are announced, we cannot advise what council services may be opening and how they will operate. We will update the community when known.”

At Monday's daily briefing, Premier Daniel Andrews said he was confident of moving regional Victoria into the next step sooner rather than later.

“The metro 14-day rolling average to 11 September is 54.4 cases, in regional Victoria it has dipped below four and it is now 3.9. That is a fantastic outcome,” he said.

“That is proof positive that this is not a theoretical exercise. It is a strategy that is working and to see regional Victoria down to 3.9 cases, it means they are on the cusp of taking the next step, all things being equal. There is a few more days to get through.

“We're pleased to think we will be able to take those big steps, but safe steps towards opening regional Victoria up.

“Can I remind regional Victorians, the rules haven't changed. That is a good thing. It is a reflection of low numbers. The rules still need to be followed.

“We will have more to say in coming days about individual plans for every single workplace.

“The Victoria Police efforts to make sure that the border between Melbourne and regional Victoria is as hard as it can possibly be and also some other messaging around testing and some of the maintenance work that will need to be done to keep an accurate picture, particularly as regional Victoria opens up, to deal with inevitable cases and outbreaks that will be a feature of many months to come.

“Having got the numbers low, we are absolutely confident we can keep the numbers low.

“That is where regional Victoria is at and that is the trend in metropolitan Melbourne also.”

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