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 letters of support will soon be able to travel to the Wellington region for up to 72 hours to prepare their properties for the fire danger season and possible floods.
In the lead up to Thursday, the council received more than 600 calls from Melbourne residents requesting information about gaining permission to travel to Wellington.
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.
It is also recommended Melbourne visitors to Wellington Shire also carry their rates notice.
Melburnians are being encouraged to hire a local contractor to do the necessary work before 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.
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 cafés, pubs, restaurants or hair dressing salons, and can only travel within 25 kilometres of their Wellington property.
Local businesses are being encouraged to follow requirements for taking contact details of customers, and not allow service to people from metropolitan areas.
Locals should carry photo ID that shows their address to ensure that they can access services that are off-limits to visitors from Melbourne.
People intending to visit from Melbourne are being urged 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 about preparing property for flood or fire, and to apply for a letter of support, see the question and answer page.