By Laura Michell
People living in the postcodes 3047 and 3064 are this morning waking to a second lockdown, with gyms, pools and many cafes and restaurants closed once again.
The suburbs of Broadmeadows, Jacana, Dallas, Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Mickleham, Kalkallo and Donnybrook became the subject of reintroduced stay-at-home orders at 11.59pm last night, meaning residents can only leave their homes for four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work.
Booze bus-style checkpoints will be set up at the entrances to the affected suburbs, dubbed the ‘hot zones’, with police questioning people about why they are leaving their area.
The return to stage three restrictions has resulted in Hume council closing the Broadmeadows Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Craigieburn’s Splash Aqua Park and Leisure Centre, StartNorth in Broadmeadows, its customer service centres and galleries in Broadmeadows and Craigieburn, and community centres in all affected suburbs.
Hume mayor Carly Moore said she “wanted to cry” when she learnt that parts of the municipality would be plunged back into stage three restrictions, adding she was “devastated” for the community.
“We are a community who has been doing it tough and I think that these lockdown rules will make it even tougher,” she said.
“It has been a tough time for our community and we were starting to see some signs of hope. We were starting to get really optimistic about what the future might look like and realistically, we are right back to square one.”
Cr Moore said she had heard from many in the community who didn’t know how they would through another lockdown.
“There were lots of people who felt the psychological impacts of lockdown and were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and now we can’t see that light anymore. Another four weeks is a really long period of time for those people that are feeling impacted.
“Our community feels as though they have been singled out.”
Whittlesea council took to Facebook yesterday to remind its Donnybrook community it was here for them.
“Council’s essential services including waste collection will continue and most other services remain online as part of our adapted services deployed at the start of this pandemic,” the council said.