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Baw Baw Shire Council continues face-to-face essential services for unvaccinated residents but not discretionary
Baw Baw Shire Council will continue to provide face-to-face access to its Drouin Customer Service Centre for all residents, regardless of vaccination status.
The West Gippsland Arts Centre Box Office will continue to offer face-to-face services with the requirement for proof of full vaccination status in place. However, in response to Victorian Government COVIDSafe health directions, and to avoid the disappointment of refused access to our essential services, the operation of a face-to-face Council Customer Service desk at the West Gippsland Arts Centre has been discontinued until further notice.
Baw Baw Shire Council will continue to provide face-to-face access to its Drouin Customer Service Centre for all residents, regardless of vaccination status
Remaining open regardless of vaccination status
The change to face-to-face Council Customer Service at the Arts Centre owes to the differing COVIDSafe requirements for what the Victorian Government classifies as 'essential' and 'discretionary' services. All discretionary services require proof of full vaccination status as a condition of access. Essential services, on the other hand, remain open to all regardless of vaccination status.
While Council Customer Service Centres are considered essential services (i.e. no proof of vaccination status is required), entertainment services such as the WGAC Box Office, hospitality services such as Albert and Smith restaurant, and public gallery spaces are considered discretionary and require proof of full vaccination status as a condition of entry.
Open to the public
At the Arts Centre, the Box Office and Council Customer Service share a single counter in a multi-use space, which also contains a public art gallery and the Albert and Smith restaurant.
To maintain the operation of the WGAC Box Office, to avoid impact on the operation of the Albert and Smith restaurant and to continue providing public access to internal art exhibitions in line with COVIDSafe directions, the decision has been made to discontinue face-to-face Council Customer Service in the WGAC venue only.
Customer Service to remain available
WGAC will continue to be open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am - 3pm, and during show times. In accordance with Victorian Government COVIDSafe directions, all persons aged over 12 years and two months must be fully vaccinated to enter the premises.
Face-to-face Council Customer Service will remain available to all residents at the Drouin Customer Service Centre regardless of vaccination status. All residents can also access Council Customer Service via phone on 1300 229 229, website live chat and social media.
Committed to offering face-to-face customer service
Director Governance and Information Services, Martin Hopley said, "Baw Baw Shire Council is committed to offering face-to-face customer service to residents regardless of vaccination status. The Customer Service Centre in Drouin is a standalone Council office. That means that we're able to keep that open to everyone while maintaining COVIDSafe settings and not negatively impacting other businesses."
In the case of the Arts Centre, maintaining a Customer Service counter in the shared space would mean that we would be unable to operate the WGAC Box Office, allow residents in to view the art or to dine at Albert and Smith restaurant.
"As a result, we've made the decision to discontinue Council Customer Service at the WGAC location only. This option lets us strike a balance of maintaining a face-to-face service option for residents who want it, without negatively impacting business at the Arts Centre." Mr Hopley said.
Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.
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