Customer service centre closure

Council has invited feedback on the proposal from April 27 to May 24, 2023.

Zoe Moffatt

Macedon Ranges council is considering closing the Woodend Customer service centre after low attendance was recorded.

In the meeting on Wednesday, April 26, council revealed the Woodend centre had low in-person interaction compared to the larger administration centres in Kyneton and Gisborne.

Following the trial, it was recommended that long term operation of the Woodend centre was not viable, and there was an opportunity to redistribute resources.

Councillor Janet Pearce reminded residents that the proposal is out for community consultation and a decision on the future of the centre has not been made.

“I just wanted to note that … this is to be released for community consultation,” Cr Pearce said.

“I want everybody to be very clear that we’d like to hear their thoughts on it and then it will come back to council.

Cr Jennifer Anderson agreed with Cr Pearse and said Woodend residents can access the Kyneton centre in a short amount of time.

“It is always I think difficult for a community when they look at a service being there and a service potentially being withdrawn,” Cr Anderson said.

“People might say well, Romsey has got similar visitations [statistics], well Romsey is the only service centre in the east of the shire.

“Those in Woodend can within a short amount of time, either on the train or through driving, go to the Kyneton centre or even the Gisborne centre to be served.”

This proposal was developed after the Woodend centre underwent a six month trial from May to November, 2022, and the other centres underwent a trial from August to November, 2022.

All trials collected and analysed data, including; opening hours, and the number and type of in-person interactions.

Council has invited feedback on the proposal from April 27 to May 24.