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How Colac’s COVID-19 efforts have helped their reputation ‘skyrocket’

3AW Drive
Article image for How Colac’s COVID-19 efforts have helped their reputation ‘skyrocket’

A former Colac Otway Shire mayor who helped lead the community effort to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in the area says he’s happy their efforts have been acknowledged.

A leaked review found the Department of Health and Human Services failed to adequately manage the outbreaks in the town in July.

145 people were infected across two clusters.

Jason Schram, who was mayor at the time, said he wasn’t surprised by the report.

“No surprise, but I am glad it’s been acknowledged,” he told Heidi Murphy on 3AW Drive.

“From the initial outbreak, we just didn’t get any attention. Common sense and being a regional community, you could see what was going on, and the potential for disaster because in regional towns we are all connected one way or another.

“It took three or four days of being on 3AW and being in the newspapers and putting the pressure on the government to even get a phone call from them to say, ‘Oh yeah what’s happening?'”

He said there was an immense amount of pride for the locals.

“Even today, it’s still talked about,” he said.

“This was a major outbreak and Colac, its reputation has skyrocketed in the eyes of the rest of Victoria, and probably Australia.

“And we are seeing that now with the amount of people moving here and buying up properties.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Google Maps

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3AW Drive
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