When the going gets tough …

By Susan Saunders

City residents get going. The online world is buzzing in the time of COVID-19 as humans do what they do well. Innovate. Collaborate.

We residents live in a beautiful city. Have you noticed that Father Autumn does not know about the virus? April and May often show Melbourne’s weather at its best and this year is no exception. We are so lucky to have extensive parks in which to enjoy the changing season even with social distancing being observed. Plane trees in the city streets are at their best right now.

Residents 3000 is keeping in touch with its members through regular posts on Facebook, Instagram and our website. Community interest in what is happening is evident through increasing numbers of views, shares and likes. Socialising, gossiping and generally keeping in touch online is filling the gap left by not being able to hold our regular monthly forums.

Your committee is meeting via Zoom every two weeks to keep the organisation on track.  In the past month, committee members have met (online) with the Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Cr Nicholas Reece to communicate residents’ needs in the lockdown period. The committee is heartened by the response from governments, charities and the police to help accommodate the homeless people. We are urging that such action continues over time as a way to solve a complex problem both now and after the pandemic. It is amazing how things tend to happen in times of crisis.

Residents 3000 has been talking with our members of parliament to ensure there is good two-way information flow. Where necessary, information is passed on through our social media outlets and member mailings. We are involved in responses to the current Royal Commission into mental health, which is important as it impacts the homeless problem. We are urging members to support our local small businesses and have been posting stories about what they are doing and how they are managing to serve their customers in innovative, safe ways.

Our representation to City of Melbourne planning has not stopped. Currently there is a renovation in the eastern end of Bourke St (54-62 known as the Job Warehouse or Crossleys Building, built 1848-49 and is heritage-listed) that wants to open until 3am in the morning.  Residents are opposing such laws that have no regard for the sleep needs of the next-door neighbours.

Remember that we are not living in the time of the devastating Spanish Flu that plagued the world from 1918-20. Economies were in dire straits after the Great War. People were suffering. Food was scarce. 

But today we have technology to help us battle the virus. We start from a strong economy.  But what we must do, is collaborate with one another. Work together to stop the transmission of the virus. A virus without hosts to reinfect cannot survive.

So fellow members of Residents 3000, if you have the slightest sniffle, headache or sneeze get yourself tested. Don’t touch the lift buttons, no shaking hands, work from home if you can, and above all, be kind to your fellow citizen. Don’t forget to smile! Find little things that are wonderful, like a beautiful day or a colourful autumn leaf and cherish those things.  With that we can win •

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