Call to establish 'bounce back' working group to Tamworth recoup
One councillor has raised the call for a "bounce back" working group to be formed to help the city recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Glenn Inglis brought up the concept during an extraordinary meeting on Monday where councillors unanimously voted to pass a relief package designed to soften the blow of the coronavirus on residents and business. Cr Inglis said a group focussed on helping the city recuperate after the mammoth crisis was essential in ensuring Tamworth comes out strong on the other side. He told 2TM in an interview that now is the time to be thinking about it and planning for it. "It will take about a month to get it together," Cr Inglis said. "I don't just see it for economic recovery, I also see it as helping the social recovery. "Therefore, representation is important. I would say at a minimum you would have the top five industry sectors represented - manufacturing, the health sector, agriculture, construction and tourism - and the not-for-profit sector as well." Cr Inglis said no one knows when the recovery period will begin, but that should not stop them from sitting down and strategically thinking about potential action plans. He added a working group could look at "stages" such as the initial six months right through to possibly two years after the pandemic is over. "Each stage will have a unique set of requirements that need to be met," Cr Inglis said. "You can break them down by immediacy. "The other super important thing, the community is going to have learnt so much during the period that will fundamentally change the way we think ... it's a great opportunity to talk about what we have learnt from this." Cr Inglis said that having a Tamworth-based team means solutions can be built around what is happening in and around the city. "What is happening here is completely different from what is happening in Sydney," he said. "You come up with the solutions that are tailored made, that is the other great benefit of the group." Cr Inglis' idea garnered support from his fellow local government representatives during Monday's meeting. Cr Juanita Wilson said TRC has a history of being proactive, and that "bounce back" was an apt term. She added that following the crisis, any support methods or system changes would need to be done in a systemic and organised way rather than reactionary.
Mayor Col Murray, when addressing media on Tuesday, said it's a great idea to be able to position the city for recovery.
"Watch this space," he said.