Bundaberg Regional Council’s COVID-19 Recovery spokesman Cr Greg Barnes. Picture: Mike Knott.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s COVID-19 Recovery spokesman Cr Greg Barnes. Picture: Mike Knott.

Inside Bundy’s COVID-19 recovery team

A BUNDABERG COVID-19 community recovery unit continues to meet fortnightly through teleconference in preparation for the financial and social impacts.

Bundaberg Regional Council's COVID-19 Recovery spokesman Greg Barnes said his new role required him to oversee the groups that were involved in the unit, and to update the council on issues raised.

Cr Barnes was appointed the new council portfolio in the ordinary meeting two weeks ago.

"We're still bound by the direction that Queensland Health and primary spokespersons (set) for the whole COVID thing," he said.

"The groups are made from a wide range of people, not just emergency services … core support services, the welfare groups, all that sort of thing.

"What will happen is the chair will update the group on any particular things of importance to the whole group and then each section will then provide a report on what they're doing … what steps to put in place to get ready for anything that comes out of the blue.

"We want to make sure we're 100 per cent ready because obviously the financial hit is going to be significant."

Cr Barnes said unemployment was going to be significant, and he also had concerns for severe mental health issues such as increased suicide risk.

He hoped that the federal and state governments would be able to provide further stimulus packages to support the council and community.

Cr Barnes said the council's operations undoubtedly would be impacted, as was noted in the recently published quarterly report in which 12 targets were unable to be met due to social distancing impacts.

"The council's working extremely efficiently," he said.

"At this stage I'm quite impressed with the way the whole organisation of council is still keeping up to the job.

"There's going to be some deficiencies here and there, I haven't got the report in front of me, I don't think it's going to hurt us too much.

"Having an operational report is a legislative requirement and I think anyone would expect it to take a hit in certain sectors."

If your mental health is impacted and you need support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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