Ms Patten: In the last month, like many members, I have spoken with a range of organisations working incredibly hard during this difficult Covid19 crisis.
I have met with all local councils in my area, those on the front line supporting their communities and local economies; I can tell you that their issues are wide and varied. I urge the Local Government Minister to deploy more resources to working with all our local councils – they need our help, and will for some time.
I am reminded of a Chinese proverb at this time..
“Crisis is opportunity riding a dangerous wind.”
Well this is indeed a very dangerous wind, but the opportunity here is to maintain the very best parts of the changes we are seeing during the crisis – such as the housing of so many vulnerable and homeless as we have seen in the last month. Why on earth we would we go back to the status-quo when we can now see how effective we can be when we want to.
I have met with groups as diverse as Youth Projects who run the Hosier Lane program working with those with drug dependency issues; with arts representatives from organisations such as Music Victoria and La Mama who are struggling during this time; the Human Rights Law Centre who want more scrutiny of government decisions to protect peoples civil liberties; the Alliance for Gambling Reform who are lobbying to restrict access to stimulus funds for gambling clubs; Residents 3000 pushing for more services for the vulnerable in the CBD….I could go on.
The point is, that during this crisis we are finding ways to help in an array of different sectors and we should take the good ideas – the ideas and initiatives that work – and see how we can adapt them to be used in the future.
We should see the opportunity this terrible time offers us.