Brimbank Council is seeking further advice from the Victorian Government and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) about what a possible tightening of restrictions would look like in the fight against COVID19.
Brimbank Mayor Georgina Papafotiou congratulated the health authorities for putting the testing blitz in place in Brimbank, and asked the community to keep taking part in the testing as well as adhering strictly to the rules including limiting visitors to homes, leaving home only when necessary, practicing physical distancing and good hygiene at all times.
But she said Council, the community and businesses were keen to understand the results of the testing and any next steps given the talk of increased restrictions and possible lockdowns.
‘The safety of our community members has to be the number one priority and if we can prevent the spread of the virus and avoid additional restrictions by doing the right thing and following the advice of the health authorities, that’s our best case scenario.
‘However we are also trying to be realistic about what slowing the spread in our community may take and and Council has asked Government and DHHS to let us know what further restrictions would look like so our views can be taken into account if there is a need to lock down particular suburbs or areas within municipalities.
‘For example, at a practical level, people travel between suburbs for a number of reasons like school and work so this will be challenging but we’ll do what we can to provide support if it’s for the health and safety of our community,’ Cr Papafotiou said.
‘The restrictions to date have had an undeniable impact on businesses and community members in our municipality and any further restrictions would put additional strain on residents and businesses already suffering financially. We stand ready to do the right thing but there is no doubt our community and businesses will need additional health and wellbeing and economic support to get through something like that.’
Cr Papafotiou said Brimbank has high levels of socio-economic disadvantage, unemployment, youth unemployment, a casual workforce, low educational outcomes, high diabetes and obesity rates, an elderly community, and a high number of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. Over 33 per cent of local businesses who are associated with the transport, logistic, warehouse, tourism, accommodation, retail, food services, arts and recreational sectors.
In response to the ongoing concern within Brimbank, Council has asked the State Government to consider a dedicated COVID-19 Health, Wellbeing and Economic package to support the local economy, businesses, workers and impacted residents during the pandemic and into recovery.