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Police & Emergency Services

Celebrating The New Year In Geelong In A COVIDsafe Way

New Year’s Eve will look a little different this year, with the Andrews Labor Government working closely with Victoria Police, emergency services and local government to ensure celebrations across the state are COVIDSafe.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville urged the Geelong community to ring in the new year responsibly.

We understand that the community is looking forward to celebrating the end of this difficult year – but this must be done in a COVIDSafe way, in line with the current directions issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Victoria Police will be out in force in Geelong this New Year’s Eve protecting the community and enforcing COVIDsafe practices such as social distancing, the wearing of face masks on public transport and people limits for public gatherings.

With no fireworks in the City of Greater Geelong this year – the community is being asked to find other ways to celebrate the end of 2020, including supporting local businesses by booking at a local restaurant or venue, or spending time with family and friends at home or with a picnic in a park.

Businesses are also reminded of their responsibility to provide a COVIDSafe environment for their workers and customers by adhering to distancing requirements and keeping thorough records of all visitors to their premises.

Uniform and plain clothes police will continue to carry out patrols throughout the Greater Geelong area, targeting anti-social behaviour, violence and drink and drug driving.

Victoria Police’s Operation Order which provides more than 150 resources to the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast area will be in full swing this New Year’s Eve with support from the Canine Unit, Mounted Branch and Public Order Response Team.

Operation Summer Safe – which Victoria Police run in partnership with local agencies and representatives of the local community to target risks specific to the Geelong and coastal area communities – is also in full operation this summer and New Year’s period.

Mobile Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will be deployed on trains and at train stations around Geelong and other key regional hubs, including Ballarat, Frankston, Bendigo and Traralgon.

Marked and unmarked vehicles will be out on Victoria’s roads as part of Operation Roadwise, targeting motorists who are drug and alcohol affected, speeding, driving dangerously, using their phones or distracted.

The City of Greater Geelong has its dazzling Christmas Projections on City Hall (8.30pm-11.30pm) and the Floating Christmas Tree at Waterfront Geelong (8.30pm – midnight) with a new sound and light show for people to check out instead of the New Year’s Eve Fireworks display. Information on Geelong’s COVIDSafe New Year’s Eve festivities can be found at www.centralgeelong.com.au/christmas/new-years-eve

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“This has been a year like no other – and while many members of the Greater Geelong community will be looking forward to farewelling 2020, we urge everyone to think about the best way they can ring in the new year in a COVIDSafe way.”

“It’s great to see so many businesses and community organisations stepping up to the challenge and organising ticketed events, which can ensure appropriate distancing and hygiene are maintained.”

“Our dedicated police officers and emergency services workers will be out in force right across the state – keeping the community safe and targeting those who are doing the wrong thing.”