Cr Katarina Steele

Mrs Katarina Steele

October 2020

It's time to plan for Christmas celebrations. Even if now we cannot know how widespread COVID-19 infections will be in the remaining months of this year, at the Council we must make decisions and prepare for it. We are tossing up many ideas, but the main criteria will be: it must be safe.

Talking about the future, there are good things to look forward to. In Overton Ward this year many footpaths and several streets have received a facelift. Gladys Street has an extra bonus: artwork relating to its past in the form of kerb inscriptions.

The road renewal will continue in the next financial year, for example on Bice, Wainwright and Winona Streets and Chamberlain Avenue. Bice Street should receive rain gardens too. Some of the planned footpath renewals are for Bideford Avenue, Fulton Place, Avenue Road and Morgan Avenue – just to mention a few. There will be much-needed help on Marion Street Reserve, and AA Bailey and Kegworth Reserves will receive improvements too.

Let's hope the world will soon have a vaccine against COVID-19 and that there will be no need for big restrictions in our social interactions. We tend to say that we can then go back to where we were before the pandemic. But I don't want to just continue as we did before. We should learn and do it better.

One of the big experiences of the last months was the clearing of the air due to a lessening of our travel and industrial activities. But at the same time, we used a lot of extra plastic, including takeaway containers. And what about food waste? Over 7 million tonnes of food are wasted in Australia every year, which costs the economy approximately $20 billion. Food waste costs a typical family household up to $2,200 to $3,800 annually in lost or uneaten food.

Even before the pandemic five per cent of the Australian population had experienced some form of food insecurity, 40 per cent of those at a severe level.

I was stunned to learn that at the same time 5.25 million metric tonnes of CO2 is created via methane production from anaerobic decomposition, which is equivalent to the amount produced in the Australian iron and steel manufacturing industries combined. What is your way of disposing food leftovers? I collect them in a plastic bag in the freezer and then empty it into the green bin before the bi-weekly collection date. You could use any container or kitchen caddy (a kitchen caddy and roll of 52 compostable bags costs at the council $12, a roll of 52 compostable bags costs $5).

The days are heating up, spring is here and we are happy to go out more often – with limitations. But we can go to movies, theatre and sports events. Please don't forget to support your local businesses, have a coffee at your local cafe, buy fresh bread or a cheery bouquet of flowers, and keep caring for each other.