We are back into relative isolation and on-going anxiety as Victoria confronts new waves of community transmission of COVID-19 . . . but we have also seen hope, generosity and glimpses of a better future for our community. Can we build a more creative and caring community out of this crisis?
We are back into relative isolation and on-going anxiety as Victoria confronts new waves of community transmission of COVID-19 . . . but in recent months we have also seen hope, generosity and glimpses of a better future for our community.
Joggers and cyclists using bike paths; a woman doing heavy duty weight-lifting in a park while young people kick footballs and soccer balls; and, families playing and walking their dogs.
The virus has reinforced the importance and value of public open space; the ease and enjoyment of a city with far fewer cars on the road; and the ability to see the horizon and the sky without our ‘normal’ levels of pollution.
But these benefits come at an enormous price.
Life is tough for so many residents and workers in Port Phillip: thousands losing their job or facing reduced hours; many tenants struggling to pay the rent and landlords battling to meet their mortgages; families delicately balancing work and home obligations.
Meanwhile Council child care staff care for many of the most vulnerable children and families in our community.
Maternal and Child Health nurses continue to look after families with new babies via telehealth services.
Library staff, while libraries were closed, packing food orders for collection at South Melbourne Market; and housing staff seeking out accommodation to house the homeless to keep them safe from the increased danger of life on the street.
Aged care staff making sure the elderly and frail receive nutritious meals and personal care.
Our recycling and rubbish still being collected.
Other staff going quietly about their everyday work of keeping our community running.
Can we build a more creative and caring community out of this crisis?
We are going to need a responsive and efficient council to help us do it. As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic these local community services are going to be more important than ever.
Everyone wants our Council to keep rates as low as possible and constantly try to make its services more efficient and effective.
But some want to use the crisis to slash the services our community relies on – all based on misleading claims about Port Phillip Council rates.
Cuts in areas such as child care, social housing, arts programs including Linden and Gasworks and the environment are neither efficient nor effective.
This won’t help our community recover from the pandemic.
Instead, we need to invest in the services and neighbourhoods vital to Port Phillip continuing as one of the best places in Melbourne to live or work.