Residents assess their year

By Meg Hill

Residents3000 held its annual general meeting (AGM) on September 3 with a meeting over Zoom where Lord Mayor Sally Capp addressed residents as guest speaker.

Committee president Rafael Camillo presented his report to the meeting and said it had been an “honour” to serve as president despite the “very unusual year”.

“It has been a very unusual year on account of COVID-19 occurring, which in turn has resulted in the association and its committee members needing to adapt and evolve to the current circumstances with new procedures and practices to secure a strong future for our organisation,” Mr Camillo said.

Mr Camillo listed initiatives taken by Residents3000 to support members, including:

  • Developing new guidelines displayed on the group’s website to assist members and supporters to lodge public objections or complaints with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and with the planning department of the City of Melbourne;
  • In association with East Enders, objected to the conditions proposed for the Job Warehouse redevelopment on Bourke St in support of the local residents;
  • In April 2020, during lockdown, started campaigning for a solid solution to the CBD’s homelessness issues; and
  • Used COVID-19 to improve communication with members and supporters through social media platforms.

During her address to the meeting, Lord Mayor Sally Capp provided an update on the City of Melbourne’s management of the COVID-19 crisis in the city.

“Last time I formally attended a function like this, we had a vibrant economy, one of the most liveable cities in the world, with all the stuff we love around food events, retail, tourism, the knowledge sector, and just an amazing place to live,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We all know that the COVID crisis has hit Melbourne particularly hard, and in the Australian context we are the most impacted by the health crisis.”

The Lord Mayor said the council’s response started within the organisation; making sure council employees were kept in work, the delivery of essential services, and crisis support for ratepayers and residents, including $50 million in relief and stimulus measures.

“We did make a very deliberate decision to prioritise keeping community and economy afloat and for the first time in 30 years we’ve gone into deficit,” the Lord Mayor said.

The Lord Mayor received questions from the meeting on a number of topics, including:

  • The Queen Victoria Market;
  • The COVID-19 prompted fast-tracking of building works in the city;
  • The management of Melbourne’s “Little Streets” including proposals to bring hospitality trading into the streets to lessen the risk of virus transmission;
  • The council’s transport strategy; and 
  • The future of tourism and short-term accommodation industries •

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