Mayor Nunan issues concern for Robe community

Message: Robe Mayor Alison Nunan has published a message on council's Facebook page concerning the safety of Robe's residents.
Message: Robe Mayor Alison Nunan has published a message on council's Facebook page concerning the safety of Robe's residents.

Robe District Council is believed to have become the first local government body in South Australia to take steps toward closing its borders.

The council encouraged visitors to stay out of the community, citing concerns about the spread of coronavirus to its ageing population.

As part of the restrictions, the council said the local supermarket might be unable to sell goods to anyone from outside the area.

The policy may be the first such restriction among towns and cities in Australia in the wake of the disease crisis.

Robe Mayor Alison Nunan issued a message through council's Facebook page concerning the health and well-being of Robe's residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor said in the post that council would look to "minimise the exposure of the broader community" and discourage visitors to all towns within the District Council of Robe including, Robe, Boatswain Point, Nora Creina, Greenways and Mount Benson.

Ms Nunan emphasised that council had not made the decision lightly after looking at how Robe would suffer if there were to be an outbreak of the virus.

Council had discussed how Robe had limited medical facilities and staff, also observing how ambulance is operated by volunteers, with there being uncertainty in these volunteers being available to transport infected patients to the hospital.

In making the decision, council has analysed how there is a small supply of personal protective equipment in town to protect Robe's medical personnel with Robe also only having one pharmacist to distribute medical supplies.

The mayor also explained that the community paramedic might not be able to attend to an emergency as they covered a big area.

She said there was limited testing available in Robe for anyone becoming unwell.

Council has been told recently by various local business owners that hospitality businesses are considering closing.

The mayor said in the post that there might be major limitations on purchases at the Robe supermarket with council possibly restricting non-residents from buying from the supermarket.

Council is requesting that visitors reconsider their need to come to Robe to either holiday or self-isolate.

In concluding the post, the mayor mentioned that her and council understand that "this is not welcome news to anyone, locals and tourists alike," but council was pleading that the public be patient and respectful while the civic leaders worked to protect its community.

Elected members will meet on Tuesday night to discuss the issue further with a variety of medical and tourism stakeholders.

"We will continue to provide updates to you as necessary in this challenging and dynamic environment," the mayor said.

"Please phone me if you would like to discuss this further - share this information with people you know so that we can get the message out to anyone considering coming to Robe."