Statement by Mayor Bernadene Voss
Port Phillip Council is continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic following the recent introduction of the Victorian Government’s Stage 4 restrictions.
Our beach and street cleaning services are still being delivered under the tighter restrictions.
All essential services contractors and staff also have COVID safe plans in place to allow bins to be emptied and maintenance issues, such as dangerous trees and trip hazards on footpaths, to be addressed.
We are temporarily adapting our parking enforcement in view of the curfew and high number of residents now working from home. Parking patrols are now only being undertaken between 7 am to 8 pm. We encourage residents to call Victoria Police assistance for any safety or driveway obstruction matters which may arise during the curfew hours of 8 pm to 5 am.
This reasonable approach to parking enforcement means we are focusing our efforts on safety issues and responding to complaints when patrolling outside the curfew hours. We are not considering reinstating a grace period due to the low number of vehicles currently moving across the City.
Our Council remains committed to doing what we can to support those most affected by the pandemic.
We are providing $90,000 over the six months to September to the Port Phillip Community Group (PPCG), as well as staff support and space at Council-owned premises.
This assistance has already resulted in the PPCG delivering 3,500 food packages from April to June and we will be monitoring need as Stage 4 progresses.
Our municipal relief and recovery response also involves tackling social isolation and the need for material relief, such as food, through the Community Activation and Social Isolation program.
The draft 2020/21 Budget, due to be considered at our August 19 council meeting, includes a $4.2 million Economic and Social Recovery program which builds on the $2.83 million emergency relief package provided in 2019/20.
We are staying in touch with traders as many are doing it tough. There are still opportunities to buy terrific takeaways as well as supporting local businesses offering online shopping. Several closures have been required under Stage 4.
Only vulnerable children and children of permitted workers are now able to access childcare and the Port Phillip Resource Recovery Centre has had to close.
Our library branches are temporarily closed and the Click and Collect service cannot operate. I encourage everyone missing these services to explore our extensive digital library collection.
While the Sunday St Kilda Esplanade Market is closed, food stalls at South Melbourne Market remain open and the market is continuing to operate an order and collect service in the York Street Car Park.
I urge everyone to follow the rules and work together so we can stop the spread of this highly infectious disease. We recently had to fence off our closed skate parks, as skaters of all ages were breaching the tape barriers.
We also need to take care of ourselves – as well as others. Our Council’s COVID-19 information page contains links for mental health, wellbeing and support services for those who find they need these resources during this hugely challenging time.
Our new website launched today and we are excited about how easier it will be for our community to interact with us online.
Why not take a look at our COVID-19 page while checking it out? Updates will continue to be provided as we respond to this fast-changing environment.