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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Cr Georgina Papafotiou

COVID-19: Brimbank’s bushfire moment, says Mayor


Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou, has reiterated Council’s calls for all residents to follow the advice of health authorities, during cthe COVID-19 crisis.

Cr Papafotiou called for the establishment of a rapid response team and joint Government and Council taskforce to respond to the growing health, safety, wellbeing and economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Brimbank continues to climb, and the Mayor called it Brimbank’s “bushfire moment”.

“The numbers of Coronavirus cases is incredibly concerning. Brimbank continues to be one of the municipalities at the epi-centre of Victoria and Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic crisis,” Cr Papafotiou said.

“We are continuing to work with and support the Department of Health and Human Services in any way we can, but despite the best efforts of Council, community leaders, the majority of residents, State Government and DHHS, the fact is the current approach needs to be elevated and bolstered, with many residents still not doing the right thing, not staying home, not adhering to social distancing restrictions, and not wearing face masks.

“This is well and truly Brimbank’s bushfire moment, and now with the impact of Stage 4 restrictions we need unprecedented support from government to help us combat and supress the spread, keep people home, save lives, and help our community through the economic consequences of the pandemic,” Cr Papafotiou said.

“Brimbank has also experienced some of the most significant COVID-19 clusters including in aged care and meat works sectors.

“This is on top of earlier clusters associated with Cedar Meats in Brooklyn, local suburbs, postcodes and schools.

“What is happening across Brimbank is absolutely tragic. The fact is the virus is now spreading through working class, blue collar, migrant, culturally diverse and vulnerable communities, in a way that is unsustainable, unfair, and unacceptable. We now have some of our most vulnerable, frail and elderly residents in highly dangerous and precarious situations.

“Council’s thoughts and prayers are with residents and their families during this highly distressing time.

“As a former teacher, I also understand firsthand the severe impacts the pandemic is having on our local school communities, including teachers, students and families.

“‘Brimbank’s highly exposed businesses, industries and workforces, high unemployment, youth unemployment, lower than average educational outcomes, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, poorer rates of health outcomes, and vulnerable cohorts are each now sadly contributing to the fanning of the COVID-19 flame,” said Cr Papafotiou, calling for more State and Federal Government action.