Key projects and activities
On Monday 16 March 2020, the Victorian Government declared a State of Emergency in Victoria due to the serious risk to public health posed by COVID-19. With this came Stay at Home restrictions, which had a significant impact on our community, especially our vulnerable residents and local businesses.
Council approved a $7.3 million Response and Recovery Package to support the Glen Eira community. Key features included: rate relief for residents; rent and fee relief for our community tenants; grants for small businesses; and grants for local organisations supporting the community through the pandemic.
We continued to provide on the ground essential services in Residential Aged Care, In-Home Support, municipal works, immunisation, parks services and community compliance. Our libraries, leisure centres and Youth Centre closed under Stage 3 restrictions and they developed online resources and programs to assist community members isolating at home. More than 500 of our staff began working from home.
We put in place a COVID-19 Pandemic Committee with senior leaders from Council and external agencies including: Victoria Police; Red Cross; Jewish Emergency Management Group; community support agencies; and local health providers. We established a seven-member dedicated multidisciplinary response recovery team from across Council, supported by more than 30 project staff, to lead our response and recovery efforts and the work of the Pandemic Committee.
While our community is resilient, we have many vulnerable groups within it. Our response and recovery work will continue into 2020–21 as the pandemic continues.
We began talking to the community about a future Glen Eira and what sort of place it could be. More than 3,000 people responded to our community engagements and they see a Glen Eira that is sustainable; has an active, healthy and diverse community; is safe and clean; has good transport links and has kept its neighbourhood character. A 42-member community panel is now developing the Glen Eira 2040 Community Vision with a view to presenting it to Council in 2021.
We’ve redeveloped four new play spaces in our parks for teens and young adults to get active. The facilities located in Ormond, Bentleigh, McKinnon and Elsternwick include bouldering walls; hit-up walls for rebound activities; half basketball and netball courts; soccer goals; metal table tennis tables and a climbing tower.
We also opened our first dedicated dog park at The Wedge in Caulfield East. Dogs and their owners use the fenced off-leash park for doggy exercise and socialisation and there is agility equipment for training.
We worked with 18 food and retail businesses in Glenhuntly Road Elsternwick to replace single-use plastic items they use every day with re-usable alternatives. A first for Glen Eira — the six-month trial eliminated more than 25,000 pieces of single-use plastic from the businesses’ operations. Four businesses in the trial have now totally eliminated single-use plastics and three restaurants now use a swap-and-go reusable container and cup system. We’ll continue to help Glen Eira’s businesses go plastic-free in 2020–21.