Melbourne residents who own properties in Wellington Shire can now apply online for a Letter of Support to travel to prepare a second property before the fire season.
Melburnians with a Letter of Support will soon be able to travel to the Wellington region for up to 72 hours to prepare their property for the Fire Danger Season and possible floods.
Once a request is approved, property owners will be emailed the Letter of Support that they can show to pass through Melbourne’s so-called Ring of Steel or to local police in Wellington.
Melbourne visitors to Wellington Shire are also recommended to carry their rates notice.
Melburnians have been encouraged to hire a local contractor to do the necessary work prior to fire hazard inspections as their first option, and only travel to regional Victoria if they have been unable to get the work done by other means, however, it is expected that some landowners will need to carry out the work themselves.
Council has received more than 600 calls from Melbourne residents requesting information about gaining permission to travel to Wellington.
Melbourne COVID-19 restrictions will travel with each person who crosses the Ring of Steel. This means, for example, Melbourne residents will not legally be able to sit at a café, pub, restaurant or hair dressing salon and can only travel within 25km of their Wellington property. Local businesses are encouraged to assist by following requirements for taking contact details of customers and not allowing service to people from metropolitan areas.
Locals are asked to carry photo ID that shows their address to ensure that they can access services that are off-limits to visitors from Melbourne.
Anyone intending to visit from Melbourne is asked to follow all COVIDSafe rules and to stay at home in metropolitan Melbourne if unwell and apply for a permit to attend their regional property another time.
For more on preparing your property for flood or fire, and to apply for a Letter of Support, see the Q&A page at www.wellington.vic.gov.au/fire.