THE state of emergency declared in response to the growing threat of COVID-19 may trigger Frankston’s pandemic plan.
A state of emergency was called by the state government on 16 March. Premier Daniel Andrews said it would be in place for “the next four weeks to assist with measures designed to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and give our health system the best chance of managing the virus.”
Frankston mayor Sandra Mayer said “like all Victorian councils, Frankston City Council has a pandemic plan in place and it is likely the state of emergency will activate this plan.”
“We are confident we are well prepared for a pandemic,” Cr Mayer said. “The implementation of the pandemic plan will be led by the state government which will support us in ensuring critical services, such as kerbside waste collection, continue to operate.
“In the meantime, we have taken a number of precautionary measures to protect officers and the community and will continue to act on the advice and recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Frankston’s pandemic plan includes “contingency measures” in case council officers have to be isolated at home. Work spaces of staff with “critical responsibilities’ will also be separated.
Cr Mayer also said that ordinary council meetings may be closed to the public, and events could be cancelled or postponed.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for the suspension of non-essential gatherings with more than 500 people. The announcement puts this weekend’s Big Picture Fest in Frankston under threat.