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Here is a media release from Voices From the Blocks group: " MEDIA RELEASE: 8 of the 9 towers released, but the mismanagement continues 10/07/2020 The Victorian Government’s recent announcement to lift detention orders from eight of the nine public housing estates would not have
Voices from the blocks: "been possible if it weren’t for the advocacy led by the communities that live across the North Melbourne and Flemington public housing estates. “In a matter of hours, we turned this crisis into victory, as the entire community came together,
VfB statement: "to support one another and speak up for each. Our elected officials and funded institutions were not able to provide for our basic needs - so we did that for our community.” - Affirmed by residents in a statement.
VfB: "Residents, their families and community managed a health emergency on their own. They provided up to date information to 3000 people in 30 different languages within 24 hours, kept track of testing when there was no other agency doing so, coordinated a media response,
VfB: "and encouraged people to get tested.While Voices from the Blocks welcomes this announcement to lift the detention orders, the Victorian Government still refuses to meet all of our key demands. 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne
VfB: "still remains under detention orders, still requesting basic information about their situation, and patrolled by police that will be soon replaced by prison guards.
VfB: "Residents, families and the community stand firm that there is no need for police in a health crisis. Especially while the same patterns of mismanagement and negligence continue with no clarity around access to PPE, interpreters, COVID-19 testing and how people who test
VfB: " positive for COVID-19 can access support. Residents have reported that their calls to the 1800 961 054 hotline set up by the Department of Health and Human Services take up to an hour to get through and many are left unanswered
VfB: "Detention orders are a health risk. Locking people in their homes without the ability to support one another, without access to their regular health services, and the natural benefits of fresh air in a non hostile environment is a health risk.
VfB: "Voices from the Blocks’ key demands are:

For the Victorian government to allow residents deemed as high risk to relocate with family and friends located outside the towers, until the period the Covid 19 crisis is deemed under control by an independent
health body with experience in this field. 2. For the Victorian government to create a committee made up of health experts, community members and residents, both under hard lockdown and in Stage 3, to coordinate the continued management of this Covid 19 crisis within the towers
VfB: "3. The establishment of clear two way communication channels between residents in the towers and decision makers in government that have decision making authority.
VfB: "4. The appointment of an independent body of health experts made up of specialists from experienced in managing the complexity of the tower situation, with the ultimate aim of reviewing and providing guidance on all health and disease related matters undertaken by the
VfB: "Department of Human Services prior to implementation. 5. For the Victorian government to implement infection prevention measures such as regular disinfection and cleaning of communal spaces, and distribution of masks, for the foreseeable future, until a Covid 19 vaccine is
available or an independent health body deems the Covid risk within the towers as not requiring such action. 6. For the Victorian government to guarantee Covid testing is carried out at the door of a resident’s apartment, instead of in the foyer for those under hard lockdown
7. For the Victorian government to coordinate services in support of current community led activities that are responding to residents’ food, medical, financial, mental health and social service needs.
This thread is a media release from Voices From the Blocks
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