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Richard Riordan MP - Looks to #Schoolies to Save The Surfcoast.

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

This weekend, the State Government will announce it's plans to allow Victoria to begin to open up.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced in his daily press conference on Tuesday that Regional Victoria will have a different looking 'roadmap', to those living in Metropolitan Melbourne.

But local Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan has questioned how coastal areas and tourist hotspots throughout Regional Victoria could deal with an influx of visitors, when Melbournians are allowed to travel again.

Mr Riordan says the Government need to start planning now, to ensure social distancing practices are adhered to during the usual busy Summer period.

In our local region it normally goes September school holidays, into Melbourne Cup long weekend and also schoolies week and then we get into Christmas, so there is normally a bit of a lead up for our coastal communities. This year a lot of that won't happen," Mr Riordan stated.

"How will our coastline look if we have say 3000 kids from around the state turn up at Lorne for schoolies with only 20 people allowed in pubs and restaurants, if any?

How will it then look later in December when you then have 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 thousand people flock to these communities along our coastline if our pubs and restaurants and venues can only allow a certain amount of people in at a time.

Where do those people go, what do those people do? On one hand, all the closed borders and lack of travel means that everyone will be looking to our coastal regions for summer, we know that. But how are we going to best manage that."

Mr Riordan said the government need to give coastal communities extra resources to prepare for a huge influx of tourists.

"We can't have 10,000 people on the beach at Lorne at once. So I think we need to get out very clearly from government what does the new operating procedures look like.

Can businesses put separation in. Will we have pop up stores and shops and food trucks spread out along our coast so that social distancing practices stay maintained.

Cause I can assure you, as soon as people from Melbourne can get out they will, and they'll be heading down this way."

No specific dates are expected to be given as part of the roadmap release at the end of the week .. but Premier Daniel Andrews says it's only fair that regional areas be able to open up if they can.

Regional Victoria is currently in the midst of a stage 3 Coronavirus lockdown, while Melbourne have entered their fourth week of stage 4 lockdown, one of the harshest lockdowns in the world.

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