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Councillor Column- 31 March 2020- Councillor John Walker

Mar 30, 2020

Nearly a month has passed since Hilltops Council welcomed new General Manager Anthony O’Reilly. Anthony and his family came from the challenges of bushfires and floods in the coastal Eurobodalla Shire to a contrasting environment here. We all say a very warm welcome to the whole O’Reilly family. Since arriving Anthony has made immediate big decisions on helping steer Hilltops region through the COVID – 19 virus pandemic. This is what I call starting on the run because I believe the Hilltops region has to get more tuned into the advice of all our National and State leaders and health authorities to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.

The virus may better be described as pneumonia like and infects the lungs making breathing very difficult and it is very easily passed on if strict precautions are not taken against its spread. Social distancing and proper hand washing methods are given as the key ingredients for personal protection.

Council’s early decision to close firstly the libraries, tourist offices and swimming pools and then the Council administration offices to avoid face to face contact with residents may seem extreme but is indeed proactive in minimising risk of transferring the virus by human contact. It will test many of us changing our routine to only making contact online or by phone to Council staff members but the same (if not improved) level of service is guaranteed with this necessary approach.

I personally congratulate Anthony for demonstrating a style of proactive decisive and positive leadership we can expect from his Council team into the future.

The COVID – 19 Virus pandemic is going to alter the ways we communicate and is a reminder to be alert to the changes it brings but is also as important to look after our neighbours or those needing help adjusting amid these changes.

That is the real test – but resilience is a strength of our Hilltops community is it not?

Look after your health and enjoy the Hilltops region.

John Walker