The week that was

By Indira Laisram
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

While the rise of COVID-19 cases has been at the forefront of news in Victoria, a look at some of the highlights from the week that was.

Reassurance against racism from Vic Police

Aware of recent media reporting and online community discussions suggesting that certain communities are to blame for the latest rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, Victoria Police has taken reports of this nature seriously stating that people are being ‘unfairly targeted’.

“We want the community to know that we stand by you. If you have been racially abused or are the victims of a prejudice-motivated crime then please speak to police. Racism and discrimination have no place in our society. Every Victorian has the right to feel safe and secure in the community,” an official press release said.

Incidents of racism, discrimination or vilification based on religion, culture or ethnicity not only have direct impact on individual victims, but also the whole community.

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash
Probe into hotel quarantine program

Victoria’s hotel quarantine program for returning travellers has come under the scanner with the Chief Health Officer advising the Government that a number of cases of coronavirus in the community have been linked through genomic sequencing to an infection control breach in the hotel quarantine program.

Following this, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Jennifer Coate AO, one of the state’s  most experienced and respected judicial officers will lead a thorough inquiry into the COVID-19 hotel quarantine program.

The inquiry will begin promptly and will examine a range of matters including: decisions and actions of government agencies, hotel operators and private contractors, communication between government agencies, hotel operators and private contractors contractual arrangements, information, guidance, training and equipment provided to staff in hotels, policies, protocols and procedures, an official press release said.

No international returned travellers will be arriving in Melbourne for two weeks while the hotel quarantine program is reset under the supervision of Corrections Victoria, it added.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Landmark deal for future school in Werribee

A future secondary school in Werribee to give local families more choice and local kids a world-class education is set to come up with the Victorian government securing land for the same.

Government had secured an 8.4 hectare site on Harpley Estate as part of a Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) work-in-kind agreement with local developers. The GAIC sees developers give back to the communities they are helping build, by funding critical infrastructure such as schools, parks or roads.

Once complete, the Harpley Estate will become home for 12,000 people, with parklands, sports grounds, walking and cycling trails, said an official press release.

Treasurer and Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said, “This is a landmark deal that will make sure developers making a windfall out of building new communities give back to the families who will call this neighbourhood home. This will be great place to live and raise a family, and with a site now secured for a secondary school the work is being done to ensure important community infrastructure keeps pace with growth.”

Pictured (front; left to right): Gabe Tobel, Emily Shulman and Justin Odenbach. Pictured (back): Kelsey Crawford. SOURCE Slalom, LLC
Big win for Melbourne as tech companies invest

Cutting-edge tech consulting firm Slalom LLC will establish its Australian headquarters in Melbourne to support their work across Asia Pacific, creating 200 new jobs over the next two years.

Slalom is among a number of global companies that have chosen to invest in Victoria over the last twelve months. From their Melbourne office, Slalom will work with businesses to design tech solutions that enhance online customer experiences – a growing focus for many companies who are navigating through the coronavirus pandemic, an official media release stated.

Digital technology is one of the priority industries in the government’s long-term strategy to attract international investment and support Victorian jobs.

This strategy will play a key role in Victoria’s economic recovery as we rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic by creating jobs in areas set to drive future economic growth, it added.

Melbourne is Australia’s leading tech city and has also been crowned most innovative city by 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index.

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