THE work of Brighton Council’s Recovery Working Group formed in May to deal with COVID-19 has been praised by Brighton Mayor Tony Foster.
The group, comprising the municipal emergency management coordinator Peter Geard, who is also a Brighton councillor, municipal recovery coordinator Cathy Harper, senior environmental health officer Brent Basstian, chief operations officer James Dryburgh with support roles from other council officers and elected councillors, developed a range of objectives and actions to deal with the COVID-19 impacts on Brighton Municipality.
The objectives included: to ensure appropriate information was shared throughout the community, between other regional and relevant committees and internally among staff and councillors; to ensure messages from Tasmanian authorities were disseminated to the community using a range of methods such as local pharmacies, community care providers, doctors, health clinics, community notice boards, Council mailing lists, social media and other online sources; identifying ways of supporting the local community recover from the impacts of the pandemic; identifying health and wellbeing services that may be required during the emergency; identifying business services to assist in the economic recovery of the municipality and developing long-term responses to help in the recovery from COVID-19.
Cr Foster said the efforts of the group of those involved should not go unrecognised.
“We not only had a pandemic to deal with and to ensure that we were vigilant and watchful within our own community but we also, as a Council, had a duty of care to look after our own people and therefore we had to close our physical offices at the height of COVID-19.
“With the majority of our staff working off-site, it became more challenging to remain on top of all of the major objectives and to ensure that we kept all of our key stakeholders, most importantly our community, appraised of what was going on,” Cr Foster said.
“We are fortunate we have a capable and strong team at Brighton Council and that not only could this group oversee what was required in the most trying of circumstances, but our other administrative and field staff could also still continue to work on major projects addressing residents’ needs while Council doors themselves were physically closed.
“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and long hours. I would also like to particularly thank our community for your understanding and patience throughout this time. While our offices were closed, there were still options to communicate directly with staff, by phone and email, and by making appointments with relevant staff for particular issues as required.
“It does show that in times of adversity when we pull together, we can get through this and I have said on many occasions how proud I am of what our community has done together in this time. Our businesses had to do it tough particularly those that had to close, and of course, so many of our residents were either stood down or made redundant throughout this period.
“But we adapted to change and we did so quickly. I am confident that as we move forward and while we will still have significant challenges we will continue on with the good work in the great spirit that has been achieved to date.”