From Response and Recovery to Regeneration

April 2021 – A Message from the Managing Director

Michael Courtney

The COVID19 pandemic has impacted every Australian home, business, and community.

As we wait for the rollout of vaccines, we shift from emergency response into “living alongside COVID-19.

With a population of around 25 million, Australia has experienced lower infection and death rates than many comparable OECD countries.

The economic downturn during the pandemic, though severe, has also been less pronounced than in many comparable economies.

We are now moving into a “COVID normal” phase of recovery.

Councils are frequently the first port of call for community support, while continuing to deliver essential services.

To support communities and stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, Tasmanian councils, have collectively provided over $40 million in relief measures.

In Tasmania, the state approach to recovery is being led by the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council (PESRAC).

PESRAC has recommended implementing a regionally based model for coordinating the recovery journey – a key recommendation which LGAT supports.

The NSW Government is committing to a guaranteed $100 billion infrastructure pipeline over four years to drive employment growth and help create 88,000 direct jobs.

To put this record investment into perspective, the Federal Government has committed $100 billion over 10 years to transport infrastructure across Australia.

The Victorian and Queensland governments have $56 billion and $52 billion infrastructure pipelines being rolled out over four years.

This past financial year NSW budgeted to spend $23.7 billion on infrastructure, which is more than places such as Hong Kong ($18.6 billion) and Singapore ($19.6 billion).

NSW is also investing heavily in digital services, education and skills and advanced manufacturing and skills.

The $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan outlines 21 priority streams, each underpinned by direct commitments, including investment, resourcing, and programs of work.

This plan also outlines commitments to those people most impacted by the pandemic – regional WA, young people, women, and remote Aboriginal communities.

With this level of infrastructure investment nationally the question must be, can the economy possibly support this in the short to medium term?

Do we have the manpower, plant, and equipment to support these infrastructure projects and how does this level of activity affect future project costs and capacity to deliver at the local level?

At the local level, the City of Melbourne has developed a COVID- 19 Reactivation and Recovery Plan, that details the strategic context and practical responses the city is planning to implement.

Delivered by the City of the Future Taskforce, the development of the Reactivation and Recovery Plan took a design-led approach.

Inherent to the design-led approach was to take a holistic and systemic view of the city.

The plan has four key elements: respond (now), recover (1 year), regenerate (4 years), and future aspirations (10–30 years).

The City of Melbourne has aligned the reactivation and recovery plan with the United Nations sustainable development goals,17 in total, being interpreted with local level indicators.

The United Nations sustainable development goals (SDG’s) are a collection of independent but interconnected global goals established in 2015 that provide a framework for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.

A broad cross-section of community and experts have participated in a variety of activities to generate an evidence base and to identify the aspirations, opportunities and issues when considering possible futures for a post COVID-19 Melbourne.

Different groups generated ideas for bold action forming the basis of the Reactivation and Recovery Plan.

The actions documented in the Reactivation and Recovery Plan act as a guide for the City of Melbourne in achieving future aspirations.

These will continue to be iterated and prioritised in response to changing conditions in pursuit of city regeneration.

In Canberra, our national cabinet of Australian leaders will return to an “operational footing” to get the coronavirus pandemic response, with respect to vaccination, back on track.

The Government is committing an additional $25 billion in COVID-19 response measures.

This brings the Government’s COVID-19 Response Package since the onset of the pandemic to a total of $198 billion, including $184 billion in economic response measures and $14 billion in health response measures.

The Local Government response to COVID will form part of many Council Plans and long term financial plans – we believe Local Government is best placed to support and nurture its communities through this recovery and renewal phase.

The City of Melbourne’s approach is a great example of a well led community response.

Should Councils need any assistance with their COVID 19 Recovery and Response Plans and the consequential long term financial plans the CT Management Group is resourced to assist your Council.

Michael Courtney
Managing Director
CT Management Group

For more information on how CT Management Group can assist your council, call us on 1300 500 932 or submit the form below.

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