A possible extension of free car parking and changes to the May Races public holiday have prompted a last-minute special Warrnambool City Council meeting for Wednesday.
Councillors voted to bring in free car parking across the city during an urgent meeting on March 23 which applied to both parking meters and the app.
Concerns had been raised about people touching the parking meters and the risk it posed to users, many of which were older and more at risk of contracting the conronavirus.
The waiver was expected to run until mid-April, but since that decision more shops have closed and people have been told to stay home.
In Wednesday, the free parking decision will be reexamined by councillors during a special meeting which will be live-streamed from 5.45pm.
The meeting was called despite Monday night's ordinary meeting being called off over concerns about strict social distancing requirements and state government regulations about members of the public being allowed to attend.
Mayor Tony Herbert said there were some challenges in holding the meeting safely to ensure it complied with Victorian Government regulations on gatherings and social distancing aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
"The meeting will be held in the Lighthouse Theatre Studio and we will livestream proceedings via Council's Facebook page.
"For the Councillors this is work and we have continued to meet and talk regularly throughout the course of this pandemic.
"The public should not attend because this would contravene a Victorian Government direction to stay at home at all times with few exceptions.
"Attending Council meetings as an observer is not one of acceptable reasons for leaving home."
An audio recording of the meeting will be made available online after the meeting.
Cr Herbert said parts of the new Local Government Act were expected to be enacted in early May by the State Government which would allow open council meetings to go ahead without members of the public being present in the event of a state of emergency such as a pandemic. Those meetings would be live streamed.
The Warrnambool Ratepayers Association on Tuesday called for free car parking to be extended until traders were "on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic".
Association vice-president Ben Blain said all businesses were suffering at the moment and called on the council to do all it could to keep traders open.
He said the association was concerned that Warrnambool, being a tourism destination, would be one of the hardest hit over coming months.
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