Maroondah City Council has adopted a new plan to drive the city’s economic, social and community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Recovery Plan outlines a range of priorities and actions to assist the community and businesses to access the support they need to recover from the pandemic, activate places and spaces to bring people back to Maroondah, leverage the city’s unique attractions and assets, and invest in a positive and sustainable future.
Mayor of Maroondah, Cr Kylie Spears said strong partnerships between Council and a wide range of local and regional agencies, organisations and individuals will continue to be vital in helping the Maroondah community recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
“The initial goals of Council in responding to the pandemic have been to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our community, mitigate the significant impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and business community, and prioritise the delivery of infrastructure that best supports our recovery, creates jobs, improves liveability and attracts people,” Cr Spears said.
“We will continue to carry out this important role, but at the same time we are moving from a response phase to one of recovery,” she said.
“This plan will assist Council, community organisations and service providers to work collaboratively to bounce back from the pandemic. Through shared planning and effort, we can support the recovery needs of our community to ensure we are stronger beyond COVID-19,” Cr Spears added.
Among community initiatives will be building the capacity of community, clubs and organisations to assist them to apply for grants, expand volunteering pathways, and adapt the Be Kind Maroondah campaign and MaroondahConnect support service to a post-COVID environment.
Programs to facilitate community connections, reduce isolation, enhance mental wellbeing and connect with vulnerable residents, as well as supporting initiatives that reduce barriers to employment, particularly for young people, will also be delivered.
“Months into the pandemic, Council asked the community about their hopes and plans after COVID-19. While a significant number of people stated that they hoped for a life returning to normal, the overall responses showed a strong emphasis on the importance of family,” Cr Spears said.
“Recovery from pandemics, like any emergency, is a long, complex, dynamic and multidimensional process. The key to recovery is to focus on managing the consequences and ensuring that there are systems in place that adapt to changing and emerging community needs and strengths,” she said.
“Council will continue to actively engage with the community and key stakeholders throughout the implementation of the Recovery Plan to provide avenues for the community to continue to share their thoughts and experiences and be involved in community-led recovery,” Cr Spears added.
The Maroondah COVID-19 Recovery Plan was developed through extensive research and community consultation, with more than 2,800 survey responses across various engagement activities and feedback from local agencies, organisations and specialist advisory committees and groups, including the University of Melbourne and the Australian Red Cross.