Emergency support for locals
Shepparton is receiving support from Victorian emergency management, with the organisation’s deputy chief commissioner now based in the town.
Deputy commissioner Deb Abbott said Shepparton had ‘‘some challenges ahead’’ as a huge portion of the population isolates, but that work was being done to help the community as much as possible.
She said there was a 300 per cent increase in supermarket orders online and she was working with supermarkets to expand into areas outside Shepparton to help reduce wait times.
‘‘They’re adjusting and making more online services available as we speak,’’ she said of the supermarket capacity.
While the Australian Defence Force was providing support to existing services in the town and doing some grocery deliveries to vulnerable people, Ms Abbott called on people to continue to use their networks of family and friends where possible to access things like groceries or other items they needed.
‘‘We know we’ve got a resilient community,’’ she said.
‘‘Where you can continue to get supplies from friends and neighbours, continue to do so. We want to bolster and support and smooth the way where we can . . . we know this community is a very strong community.’’
Ms Abbott acknowledged the strong support network of volunteers who were doing an ‘‘enormous job’’ and said her role was to provide support for organisations already working for the community, such as Greater Shepparton City Council.