The reopening of our parks, playgrounds, fitness zones and Customer Service Centre is an encouraging sign as we work together towards social and economic recovery from COVID-19.
Once taken for granted, the sight of families enjoying our outdoor facilities and children playing in our parks is a heartening reminder that the troubled times we’re experiencing have started taking small steps to a new and different end.
However, a long road still lies ahead. The recovery from the greatest health and economic challenge of the modern era will not happen overnight – but with the right structures in place, we can hope to see better times sooner than some had feared when the outbreak began.
During lockdown, Council has been laying the foundations for that recovery through stimulus measures, support to the business sector and help for ratepayers doing it tough, while our Economic Development team has been working closely with our partners at Wodonga Council to determine the best ways of working together to boost the recovery process.
Importantly, we have established a COVID-19 Economic Recovery Working Group which is developing a road map to recovery. Made up of representatives from Council, Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce, Business NSW, Regional Development Australia Murray, the NSW Government, Australian Industry Group, education providers and other local industry, the group meets weekly to discuss the impact of the virus, exchange information and identify initiatives designed to support business and stimulate the economy.
By harnessing the collective power of this group we hope to maintain jobs and ensure businesses are primed to bounce back as conditions continue to ease. We’ve identified and started implementing measures aimed at supporting that recovery and we’re keen to hear the community’s ideas for further recovery initiatives. We welcome your suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council is also regularly communicating with individual business operators to offer advice and support with a series of business updates. You can read the latest here. You can also find out about our business-specific COVID-19 relief and recovery measures here.
Our people have kept working throughout the crisis, not only ensuring that essential services continue to be delivered but also enabling us to prepare all the groundwork for full resumption of the services and activities that underpin the life of our normally vibrant and active city.
Our Events team, for example, has been planning for a return of popular activities such as Music in the Gardens, while our festivals, conferences and tourism activities are ready to spring to life when the virus threat has passed.
We’re also implementing a staged return of normal services and facilities as it becomes safe to do so. Our Customer Service Centre in the Kiewa Street administration reopened earlier this week and we’re looking forward to once again opening the doors to our libraries, museums, community centres and other venues when it’s safe to do so.
Throughout it all, it’s encouraging to see signs of the local economy coming back to life. With the easing of government restrictions, people are beginning to return to our shopping precincts and businesses are starting to reopen.
Our local businesses need community support more than ever so please do ‘shop local’ if you can.
However, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our community so it’s essential that we all work towards the ‘new normal’ by remembering that there’s no room for complacency when it comes to COVID-19.
So, whether you’re taking the family to our parks and playgrounds, or frequenting the re-opening businesses across our two cities, please ensure you do so safely.
Social distancing, good hand hygiene and following the regulations around crowd gatherings are imperative to prevent the return of the virus to our community so please be mindful of what needs to be done to keep us all safe as we work together to reignite our economy.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped to bring that recovery within sight. As we continue to work together, please stay safe, look out for friends and neighbours and make the most of our remarkable community spirit as we take the journey to a bright future for us all.