By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 6 July 2020: As the Victorian Government and the locked down residents of COVID-19 hotspots North Melbourne and Flemington public housing estates grapple with the emerging second Corona wave, Ch-9 has booted out One Nation’s Pauline Hanson from their Today Show’ after she labelled residents in the public housing towers ‘drug addicts” and “alcoholics”.
Latest figures (Ch-9 and other sources) show Victoria recorded 127 new COVID-19 cases overnight, there are 645 active cases and a total of 2,660 cases. As a consequence the Victoria-NSW will be shut from midnight today.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC), in a media statement says, “As residents of North Melbourne and Flemington public housing estates stay at home under lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Victorian Multicultural Commission has stressed the importance of their wellbeing and ensuring they are given the support they need.”
Commission Chairperson, Vivienne Nguyen, said that as a conduit between multicultural communities and government, the Commission’s role is to support residents and advocate on their behalf.
“We are actively engaging with residents and community leaders to listen to their concerns and convey these issues directly to Victorian Government departments and agencies.”
“We will do everything we can to support communities and help ensure human rights are protected alongside the critical implementation of public health and safety strategies,” she said.
Premier Daniel Andrews says,“We know this is tough on our public housing residents and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to provide support – whether that’s food, mental health support or just help paying the bills.”
“I thank every Victorian who istaking these new restrictionsseriously and playing their part by staying home, getting tested and looking out for each other.”
The VMC statement disclosed, “Since Saturday night, 4 July 2020, residents and communities have raised concerns with us about the:
• implementation of the lockdown
• presence and impact of such large numbers of members of the Victoria Police
• need for clear and accurate communication and information
• timely delivery of appropriate food, medicines and other essential supplies
• health and mental health impacts on the residents, particularly those who have
additional needs, chronic conditions as well as senior citizens
• potential financial impacts including the fear of loss of employment, and the
• need for a collaborative approach with community leaders and residents.
In response, we have advocated the government for greater in-language information as well as on-site community representatives and translators. We have also advocated for culturally appropriate food and supplies for residents with support from community organizations and groups.
“We know there is a lot more to do, so we will continue to navigate this crisis in partnership with communities and government with a clear focus on the wellbeing of residents and all those affected,” said Ms. Nguyen.
The Commission has welcomed the Victorian Government’s recent announcements on rental waivers and hardship payments to residents as well as the commitment to provide other supports.
A statement from the Premier’s office says, “The Government has partnered with a number of organizations to assist with this massive logistical exercise, such as the North Melbourne Community Centre, Fareshare, the Community Grocer, Coles, and the Victorian Trades Hall
Council to ensure residents started to receive the supplies that they need.
To further assist with the triage and treatment of patients in lockdown the Royal Melbourne Hospital has partnered with St John Ambulance to establish a 30-bed urgent care clinic at the Showgrounds to provide critical and comprehensive first-aid to residents if needed.”
“Each household will also be eligible for a hardship payment of either $750 or $1500, as well as two weeks’ rent relief, “the statement says.
Minister for Housing Richard Wynne says, “We’re working as quickly as possible to ensure every household has what they need.”
“It’s times like these that we see just how generous Victorians truly are and I couldn’t be prouder of how our community has come together to support one another.”