Council boosts support for its community during health emergency

Providing crucial support to boost COVID-19 testing capabilities in our municipality, successfully campaigning for government funding for important local projects, launching an initiative to help local businesses; were all part of Brimbank Council’s response to another challenging month for our community during the COVID-19 health emergency.

In April, Council adopted the whole-of-council Brimbank Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response and Recovery Strategy, with a progress report presented at the Council meeting on Tuesday (21 July 2020).

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said the past month saw added pressures on our community due to high numbers of residents testing positive for COVID-19 and specific postcodes in our municipality already back in Stage 3 “stay at home” restrictions, before being joined by the rest of Metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire on the 8th of July.

‘We recognise these restrictions have been difficult for our community and businesses, and we are committed to supporting them through this period. As always, the health and safety of our community and our staff remains our top priority,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

Since the strategy was adopted, 67 per cent of the identified actions are now complete. A further 31 per cent of actions are underway and 2 per cent are ready to be rolled out.

Highlights include:

  • Council has secured $2 million in funding from the State Government for the new St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub
  • Brimbank has secured up to $8 million to employ more than 150 local unemployed people to deliver and work on Council projects and initiatives in response to COVID-19, as part of the Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria initiative.
  • More than 300 rate relief applications have been approved as part of Council’s Financial Hardship Policy
  • Council has launched the Brimbank Localised platform, a business-to-business-owner platform with content marketing, business events and marketplace tools to help business connection and growth
  • Throughout June, Council worked with the Victorian Government to provide testing sites at the Keilor Community Hub Carpark and other sites in the municipality to support ‘testing blitz’
  • Council has shared important messages during the COVID-19 health emergency to our community, including translated materials
  • More than 145 new Australian citizens were welcomed in our municipality as part of Council’s virtual citizenship ceremonies – the first in the west
  • Loans through the Library to Your Door Program have doubled in the past month

In response to increased restrictions being imposed across Brimbank to help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, Council has written to the State Government seeking support for a Health, Wellbeing and Economic COVID-19 Response Package, Cr Papafotiou said.

‘Brimbank remains highly vulnerable to a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, with pre-COVID-19 issues likely to be compounded as a result of ongoing restrictions. In addition to Council’s direct support for our community, we are continuing to advocate for key government investment towards a range of projects and initiatives that will help us respond to the immediate and longer term socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.’

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