Yesterday morning, nearly 100 ASU community sector and local government members participated in a zoom catch up called at very short notice to discuss the hard lockdown of the public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington.

Members raised concerns about many issues including PPE and OH&S concerns for the workers at the estates, the very heavy police presence and the impact this will have on residents, and the lack of communication with the ASU about the rushed plan.

At the meeting, the attached motion was passed.

A further members meeting has been set up:

DATE: Thursday 9 July
TIME: 1pm
REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vceCprTMtGtT4zGR6MMVb_7ybHnnte0LK

Following the members’ meeting, ASU officials met with DHHS, and staff for Ministers Wynne and Foley, and have been given assurances that we will be included in all further consultations about the lockdown.

Some of the relevant information to come out of the meeting with DHHS yesterday was;

  1. There is very limited face to face support services being provided to residents.  Most services are being delivered remotely.
  2. A medical facility has been set up at the Melbourne Showgrounds to triage any residents requiring medical treatment.  Community sector staff will also be at this facility.
  3. Agencies such as Berry St, VACCA, Melbourne City Mission, Anglicare, The Salvation Army and MacKillop Family Services have been engaged and will each take the lead at different allocated residential towers.
  4. DHHS has assured us that there is adequate PPE on-site and that there is also staff at each site to properly train staff in the use of PPE.
  5. Residents have a 1800 number they can call to get food, medicine etc.  This will be then delivered to their door by “porters” who have been engaged by DHHS as part of the Working for Victoria Scheme.
  6. Information was being provided in languages other than English, and further resources are being developed.

As mentioned in the members meeting, this will be a situation that will likely last for some time and will require the on-going involvement of ASU members.

If you have any information about the on-going situation at the public housing towers in North Melbourne and Flemington please contact ASU Lead Organiser, Tash Wark, at twark@asuvictas.com.au

We particularly encourage those members that are working at or with clients at these towers to get in touch.

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