There are growing demands on the state government to apologize to the residents of social housing towers that have been severely locked down. It comes as Victoria’s fifth lockdown hits her seventh day.
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Melbourne City Council has called on the state government to apologize for handling the lockdown of nine council housing towers during a 2020 Covid outbreak.
A report from the council said a lack of consultation with community leaders and poor planning had caused residents to become concerned and distrust the government.
Last July, the towers in North Melbourne and Flemington were suddenly locked for up to two weeks to contain the spread of the virus.
A damning report from the Victorian Ombudsman said the decision was not based on direct health advice and an apology for violating residents’ human rights was warranted.
In a report to a city council meeting Tuesday, Dean Robertson, city council director of road support and compliance, said the roles of health, police and emergency services had not been clearly established.
“The lack of involvement of (Muslim community services) in the planning and implementation resulted in culturally inappropriate food being provided and all previous government-community relationships crumbling,” he said.
“While all but one tower in Melbourne City moved to Level 3 restrictions within a week, public housing tenants remained pretty desperate and suspicious of the government.”
The Green City Councilor Rohan Leppert said at the meeting that people, many from war-torn countries, had armed police at their doors and had no information about the reason for the lockdown.
“They were denied fresh air, proper food, and medication for days, that was an extraordinary and unique circumstance, and that excuse must come,” he said.
City councils unanimously voted for the government to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including the apology.
The council’s report says that mistrust of the government has been improved by major efforts by the state through various programs put in place since the incident.
“These programs demonstrate the openness of the Victorian government and its partner organizations, including the City of Melbourne, to learn from mistakes made and community feedback,” it said.
“Council officials also worked closely with neighboring councils to share what they learned and prepare operational contingencies in the event a future outbreak occurs in a high-density environment.”
VIDEO REVEALS COVID DELIVERY OF THE REMOVER
The moment exposed New South Wales movers shipped Covid’s deadly Delta Tribe to Victoria and fell 6.7 million people into the lockdown has emerged.
Damned footage shows the trio of movers brazenly violating their special permit terms as they loaded furniture onto trucks outside Maribyrnong’s Ariele Apartments on July 8th.
The men wore neither masks nor social distancing as they came into close contact with the residents of the now locked complex.
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