Morwell’s connected community

Knocking on Morwell residents’ doors is giving Latrobe City Council insight into the needs and aspirations of the community following the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire.

Using Department of Health and Human Services funding to deliver a ‘community resilience’ program in Morwell, council has set out in different areas of the town to survey residents.

Having completed the first survey last year in a pilot area referred to as the Rose Garden neighbourhood, a resilience plan has been developed and on Monday was adopted by councillors.

Latrobe City general manager of community liveability Sara Rhodes-Ward said residents in that area could be characterised by “strong community pride and connection to place and each other”.

“They look out for their neighbours, particularly the frail aged,” Ms Rhodes-Ward said.

“They remember a time when Morwell was the bustling, thriving hub of the Valley.

“They are angry at what happened yet they warmly welcomed us as representatives of Latrobe City Council, and were open and frank in their discussions.”

Goals to establish community kitchens and gardens; a fenced, off-leash dog park and a freeway sound barrier are among the Rose Garden Neighbourhood Resilience Plan’s identified priorities.

Ms Rhodes-Ward said the plan was created by the community and captured their aspirations to respond to health and wellbeing concerns.

Council’s community resilience team is working alongside the Morwell and Districts Community Recovery Committee to support recovery and resilience in Morwell.

A second survey has just been conducted in Morwell’s east, which showed most residents had a strong social and community connection to the area.