Update Sunday April 12: Parks Victoria has provided the above clarification
Residents in Horsham Rural City Council are confused about whether they are allowed to exercise in Mount Arapiles-Tooan State Park after the park was closed to "local community members only".
Parks Victoria said it had closed more high-visitation parks from midnight on Wednesday until further notice to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has written to the state Government asking for clarification about who was considered "local" and therefore exempt from the closure.
A Horsham resident who wished to remain anonymous said she understood the need to restrict access but wondered if those in the same municipality, rather than just Natimuk residents were permitted entry to the park.
"We love hiking and have been desperate to get out to the mountains for fresh air and mental health, but we were under the impression this was completely off limits hence we had not gone," she said.
"We take the restrictions in place very seriously to the point of ducking into butchers, Peaches and the Asian grocer wherever we can to avoid crowds and also have to support local business.
"To be honest I think a hike in open air where physical distancing is possible safer than going into a store.
"What I would understand is if it's off limits due to possible increased pressure on health and emergency services - that to me is completely understandable."
Lachlan Hick who lives in Arapilles said he was not affected by the closure because of his postcode: 3409.
"I walked around Arapiles this morning," he said. "Also walked to and from Natimuk Lake last night."
Mr Hick said he was concerned about people travelling to the park from outside the region.
"It is quite irritating to see people coming from Melbourne and Sydney despite all of the media coverage," he said. "There was a car from QLD and another from NSW parked there this morning, some out of towners just won't stay away.
"Travellers visiting our area are a threat to the lives of my friends and family. Through incompetence or malice, they ignore the rules."
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