Coker hopes community coronavirus response can be co-ordinated
CORANGAMITE Labor federal member Libby Coker is convening what she is describing as a wide-ranging group to help direct the local community response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Coker invited about 40 organisations to take part in the first phone hook-up for the Corangamite Community Co-ordination Group, which took place yesterday (Wednesday).
Speaking to this newspaper on Monday, Ms Coker said invitees included councils, community groups, churches, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, as well as Liberal MPs Richard Riordan and Senator Sarah Henderson to create a sense of bipartisanship.
“There’s a number of groups across the region who are already doing great things themselves, but I think there’s a real need for the region to mobilise support, bring groups together and share resources.”
She said her office was also reaching out to every one of the more than 7,000 people in her electorate aged 80 or older to make sure they were getting all the support they needed.
Ms Coker is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and said she had requested an urgent briefing for yesterday for an update on how the coronavirus was affecting people using the scheme.
“I’m very concerned for people who are self-isolating at home and might not be getting the support they need because their care worker has become sick, for example.”
Ms Coker said she felt “a real onus to step up” during the pandemic.
“The world has turned upside down… people are losing their jobs and feeling very anxious.”
Anyone interested in joining the Corangamite Community Co-ordination Group can phone Ms Coker’s office on 5243 1444.
Senator Henderson is also using her office as a point of contact between vulnerable people and volunteers. For more, see page 33.