Analysis of the impact of COVID-19 across Brimbank has highlighted innovations and opportunities to improve support for vulnerable people, along with the significant impact of the pandemic on those who already faced disadvantage.
Acting Director Community Wellbeing Lynley Dumble said three Community Impact Analysis reports had provided up to date information to inform Council’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy throughout 2020.
“In order to work alongside the community throughout the pandemic, we have continually monitored the shifting health and policy situation, as well as impacts on the local economy, community, and vulnerable groups,” Ms Dumble said.
“In 2021 we will continue to listen to residents to learn about the health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19, along with residents’ responses to Council’s adaptations, and use this information to guide future service flexibility and improvements.
“Brimbank Council geared up quickly to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, adopting the whole-of-council Brimbank Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response and Recovery Strategy in April. With 96 per cent of the identified actions completed by the end of November, we are tracking well.
“We recognise how difficult the impacts of COVID-19 have been for our residents and businesses, and we understand that for many, these challenges are still here.
“Brimbank Council will continue to listen and respond to our community and to support those hardest hit as we recover in 2021.”
The Community Impact Analysis drew on surveys of 71 community support organisations, interviews and information gathered from 20 Council teams on what they heard through their work within the community and from working with individuals, families and groups.
Reporting will continue into 2021 to inform planning and demonstrate Council’s transparent approach to listening and responding to community need.
To supplement this work, Brimbank Council staff employed under the Working for Victoria program have completed a survey of residents on the health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19.
The Community Impact Analysis identified those most at risk were people in precarious employment with no entitlements to sick leave, no guarantee of future work and no capacity to work from home. This increased both the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and chances of transmission.
But the analysis also found that the disruption caused by the pandemic led to a significant number of rapid, innovative and compassionate adaptations.
“Teams have worked together, adopting problem-solving approaches, and responding quickly to meet the changing needs of their local communities,” Ms Dumble said.
“A number opportunities are emerging from the pandemic, including greater outreach, more use of technology, and integrating services to provide client-centred care.”
The September Community Impact Analysis – the third such analysis since the pandemic began – is available on our website, along with previous analyses, and the two key plans guiding Brimbank’s coronavirus response: the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Strategy and the Brimbank 19 Point Plan for COVID Response and Recovery.