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‘Stay at home means stay at home’ this Easter, says Mayor

Published: 3rd April 2020

‘Stay at home means stay at home’ this Easter, says Mayor
 
A Western Queensland Mayor is urging his community to stay home this Easter to avoid breaking the law.
 
Under the Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction issued by the Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, anyone in breach of the direction is committing an offence. Longreach Regional Council Mayor, Ed Warren, is concerned that some people in the community do not accept the seriousness of the directive and may try to leave the community over Easter.
 
The council has been working with tourism authorities to discourage visitors from attempting to ride out the pandemic in the outback. The concern now is that locals will try and leave for the Easter break.
 
Councillor Warren, who is approaching retirement with election results to be declared soon, says people intending to go away for Easter and then return are putting the community at risk.
 
“The virus isn’t here in our region, but that’s no reason to be complacent. Like many of my colleagues, I’m worried that there are people in our communities that don’t appreciate how seriously authorities are taking this.
 
“If you’re caught travelling at Easter without an official reason, not only are you risking a fine, you’re risking bringing the virus back into our communities when you return.”
He said he was looking forward to travelling in his retirement, but those plans are now on hold.
 
“Very soon I’ll be out of local government, and Joanne and I were looking forward to catching up with friends up north that we haven’t been able to see in a while. But the safety of our communities must come first, and like many people we’ve cancelled our plans.
 
“The last few weeks have been quite a way to finish my local government career, and now I’m even going to have to rethink how I fill my days in retirement.”
 
The full Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction can be found online: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/home-confinement-movemment-gathering-direction
 
Council is encouraging anyone who wants to stay informed about the pandemic to make use of official sites such as https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19 and health.gov.au. It has also launched a section on its own website to collate local information at longreach.qld.gov.au/covid.

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Media Contact: Cr Ed Warren - 0418 961 372
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