The mayor of one of the Melbourne areas set to be placed into lockdown has expressed despair for her community, which she said had just begun feeling a sense of reprieve from coronavirus restrictions.
Carly Moore, mayor of the city of Hume – one of 10 local government areas identified as a coronavirus hotspot – said on Wednesday she “wanted to cry” when she was first told about the new lockdown.
“I wanted to cry, if I'm completely honest. It's been a tough time for our community. We were starting to see some signs of hope, we were starting to get optimistic about what the future might look like and realistically, we're right back to square one,” she told reporters.
From 11.59pm on Wednesday, residents in the 10 postcodes identified to have high rates of COVID-19 will be permitted to leave their home for just four reasons.
“For work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials,” Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday.
Ms Moore said the news delivered a sickening blow to the Hume community which comprises of 26 towns including Broadmeadows, Bulla, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Craigieburn and Dallas.
“I'm hearing from lots of members of the community who really don't know how they're going to get through this again. We have seen enormous impacts in terms of economic impacts and that's only going to get worse,” she said.
People who found the initial state-wide lockdown difficult enough had just started to feel optimistic about a return to normal life, Ms Moore said.
“There were lots of people who felt the psychological impacts of being locked down and I think those people really are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and now we can't see that light anymore.
“Four weeks, another four weeks, is a really long period of time for those people who were already feeling impacted.”
She condemned reports that more than 900 people had refused tests in Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots, pleading with those individuals to “pull their weight”.
The 10 Victorian postcodes in lockdown
3012 - Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 - Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 - Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 - Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Waterardens
3042 - Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 - Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 - Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 - Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 - Fawkner
3064 - Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo
“This is the most disappointing thing I have heard throughout the whole time. It makes me really sad and really very angry – everybody needs to do their bit,” she said.
“There's no reason why everybody in our community can't pull their weight and get the test.”
Ms Moore assured those who were worried about another four weeks confined to their homes that “processes and programs” rolled out during the first lockdown would be made available again.
“Hopefully it is only four weeks and we will certainly be doing our best to make sure that we can get to everybody who needs our support.”
Victoria recorded 73 new cases on Wednesday, as Mr Andrews announced the entire state could face lockdown if the situation didn’t improve.
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