West Gippsland towns caught up in metro lockdown

The locals in Bunyip enjoyed one last play at the playground before the Stage 3 lockdown was reinstated.

The locals in Bunyip enjoyed one last play at the playground before the Stage 3 lockdown was reinstated.

West Gippsland towns caught up in the metropolitan lockdown were bustling, yet not panicked, as the deadline loomed on Wednesday.
Whilst frustrated Garfield and Bunyip were included in the six-week “stage three lockdown” due to its Cardinia Shire location, businesses and residents expressed understanding that a lockdown was required for the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Many businesses in the two towns indicated they would stay open with the supermarkets and butchers stressing they would open as normal and had ample supplies.
However, some small businesses believed this lockdown would hit harder and the message to the rest of Gippsland was to support them online or on the other side.
Some residents, who have voluntarily reduced their movements to within local towns, felt a second lockdown would have little impact.
Lucinda Koesemans of Lulu’s Lolly Shop captured the mood perfectly, stating customers seemed panicked on Tuesday afternoon as news of the lockdown broke before “coming to terms with it today”.
Kristy Robinson of Impodimo Living and Giving believed the lockdown would be a lot harder for local business but believed Gippslanders would return to again offer support later.
“We’ve got to survive that bit in the middle. Six weeks is a long time. I do think this will have a far greater economic impact on business this time around,” she said.
Ms Robinson said the Garfield gift shop would keep trading. The launch of a new website and possible home delivery would come as the town is closed off.
She was frustrated the shop faces additional freight fees, about 10 per cent, due to its regional location. However, it falls under metropolitan for lockdown.
“We just should be part of Baw Baw,” said Ms Robinson. “We are the gateway really to Gippsland. But I also get they have to draw the line somewhere and unfortunately we are part of Cardinia Shire.”

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