The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the way we live upside down.
But Glenorchy City Council has risen to this challenge with the local community during this difficult time. Tangible relief for our ratepayers and community kindness have been paramount to supporting our community as they face unprecedented challenges to their lives. Glenorchy Council, along with Federal and State Governments, continue to working together to find solutions to keep our communities safe and well.
At its March Council meeting, Council voted unanimously to endorse an interim community support package to help our residents and businesses by providing immediate relief measures. These included waivers on penalties and interest on overdue rates, , refunding fees and charges for cancelled events, and negotiating with Council tenants to provide rental assistance. Council is continuously assessing the COVID-19 situation and will continue to consider further steps to provide relief to our community in the upcoming 2020/2021 budget.
We also recognised the need to reach out to our residents who have low or no access to the internet or other resources. While the pandemic created a surge of online assistance and help, Glenorchy City Council put together an easy to read booklet full of phone numbers and information (such as hand washing tips, food delivery services and health contacts to) help the most vulnerable in our community. These were distributed to disadvantages suburbs including Glenorchy, Goodwood and Chigwell. Council’s youth officers also put together packs for families with young children with activities, colouring and books to help them entertain the little ones while staying home.
When the restrictions around visitation to aged care facilities were announced, Council reached out to the aged care homes in our municipality and, with their consent, encouraged the community to send them pictures, cards and letters to brighten the days of the residents .
Kindness cards have also been sent around the community for those who wanted to safely contact a neighbor who was self-isolating or in need of help with jobs like such as collecting mail, dog walking or buying groceries. Cards can be left in the mailboxes and the recipient can choose to seek help if they wish.
For local businesses, a brand new Council initiative is being launched this month to provide support and promote buying local. Activity City is a platform for local Glenorchy business to promote their services, products and brands. This initiative also provides a one-stop-shop for our local businesses to access vital information about business grants, free marketing advice and COVID-19 information to help them continue running through the pandemic. Activity City also allows local residents to access a comprehensive local business directory and find their new favourite coffee shop, retailer or nearby services right on their doorstep.
Glenorchy Council Mayor, Kristie Johnston started a simple act of kindness on her own with ‘Storytime with the Mayor’. With COVID-19 restrictions leaving her unable to attend many meetings and events, Mayor Johnston spends a few minutes each morning reading children’s books live on Council’s Facebook page. Many families now tune in to listen, and our hope is that it gives people a small bit of relief during their long days at home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to our way of life and how we socialise with each other. However, it has also forced us all to be more accountable to maintain our connections, reach out to our neighbours and do the right thing by the community.
Glenorchy Council will continue to provide solutions and support to our community during this difficult time and beyond.
Sarah Parkes – Communications Officer Ph: 0437 860 806