Congratulations to the people of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Your diligence and attention to detail has seen the number of Coronavirus cases in Kalgoorlie remain at three.
There has been no increase now for many days and as your Mayor, I feel proud of the hard work you are all doing keeping the infection rate to such a low point. All three have come from out of town with links to overseas travel and there has been no community spread here in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
The hard work will get even harder next weekend when many Goldfielders normally travel away to the coast, especially Esperance, for the Easter break.
I was contacted by one local family who had planned to go to Esperance for a couple of weeks to a house they have there to do some maintenance. My suggestion to them was that while that may be okay, I think travelling down for a weekend holiday is against the spirit of what the nation and the state is trying to achieve in stopping unnecessary travel.
Whilst we are in the same region, and technically we can travel between Esperance and Kalgoorlie, the less movement there is, the less chance there is of infections increasing in this region and so far, Esperance is very lucky in that they do not have any reported incidences of the virus.
In the last few days there was concern on social media that the City Council does not have a “Working from Home” policy during this crisis. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Council does have several policies in this area. They can work from home, they can work reduced hours, or they can even take carers leave or a combination of all three.
Of course, outside staff, those who do the hard work day-in day-out keeping our town functioning - none of them (as far as I can imagine) will ever be able to take their work home. They are at the coalface and as their Mayor, I thank them on your behalf. But, for the inside staff, some have taken up the chance to work from home. I am one of those. In the last fortnight, other than coming into the City offices to sign documents, or for meetings I cannot avoid, I am operating from home, answering the telephone and responding to emails. I know that many others in this community are doing the same especially now with the school holidays upon us, many parents now balancing between trying to keep their employment going, looking after their children and at the same time, practicing good social distancing and other practices to reduce the prospect of infection spreading.
In the past few days the Department of Communities, with assistance from the Police and your City Council, have worked very hard and successfully in helping many of those who live on our streets move back to their communities. This is the best possible outcome for these people, as living on our streets is a very dangerous situation for them if the virus ever got here and into that cohort of people.
Another thing that has happened in the last week is a special web page for the Coronavirus. This webpage includes every bit of information you could possibly want to seek – how Federal and State regulations impact upon local life, how you can access local services, what shops are open, what hours they are still open, what services are still available and what services have more recently closed. If you find that there is any information you would like included on the webpage, please contact our staff and they will make sure that that information is added.
In these times it is important that information is made available, that everything is transparent and that nothing is covered up because it is only though knowledge and information that we can maintain the good standards we have had so far.
Keep up the good work.