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$136k raised after Melbourne apartment blocks locked down

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Nine public housing towers across two Melbourne suburbs have been placed under immediate lockdown, amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak.

About $136,000 has been raised for the residents of two Melbourne public housing towers sent into lockdown yesterday.

A fundraiser organised by the Victorian Trades Hall Council succeeded in raising the sum – about half of the total goal – by 6am today, within hours of the closures being announced.

A General view of the housing commission flats in the suburb of Flemington, where a coronavirus outbreak has been recorded, on July 04, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

"The burden of public crises is usually shouldered by those already in precarious situations. This is unfair," the fundraising page reads.

"It should be our work to make sure this isn't the case again.

"The Victorian union movement will work with community groups, residents and the Victorian Government to ensure every dollar raised goes to residents."

The Victorian Trades Hall Council is a labour council representing 43 trade union and professional associations across Victoria.

The fundraiser was launched after nine public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne were placed under immediate lockdown, amid a new coronavirus outbreak.

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said 23 residents were infected and the nine public housing towers would be in "hard lockdown" for five days.

This could be longer if those living in the towers refuse COVID-19 testing the government says.

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said 23 residents were infected and the nine public housing towers would be in "hard lockdown" for five days.

Where are the Victorian coronavirus hotspots placed in lockdown?

Approximately 3000 people including children are residents of the buildings.

No one is allowed to enter or exit the residences - unless they are residents returning home.

Mr Andrews conceded the measures could be "traumatic" for the residents.

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He said "every single resident" of the nine towers would be tested, except for those who had already been tested.

In Flemington, the following buildings are affected by the lockdown: 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road are all subject.

Victoria records 108 new cases of coronavirus biggest spike since March

In North Melbourne, the following sites are affected: 12 Sutton Street, North Melbourne, 33 Alfred Street in North Melbourne, 76 Canning Street in North Melbourne, 159 Melrose Street in North Melbourne and 9 Pampus Street in North Melbourne.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said the nine towers were home to some of the state's most vulnerable residents and did not rule out relief and hardship payments to support the residents.

Flemington, Victoria public housing tower under immediate lockdown

"I want to reassure all of our public housing tenants who are affected by this is that we will put in place all of the measures that will be required to support them in the most practical way," Mr Wynne said.

"Whether it is in relation to medical support, whether it is in relation to mental health support, drug and alcohol support, obviously the most basic things around food and in that context."

Victorian Opposition leader slams state's handling of coronavirus outbreak

Flemington, Victoria public housing tower under immediate lockdown

In a statement, Mr Andrews said the nature of apartment blocks where people are living in close confines meant the virus could "spread like wildfire".

As such, he said, a perimeter would also be established around the buildings describing the involvement of police in the measures as "unprecedented".

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Mr Andrews said 108 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in the state in the past 24 hours.

He said the new cases should be of major concern to all Victorians and encouraged anyone who was sick to get tested.

Of the 108 new cases in the state 69 are being investigated.

Twelve suburbs are currently in lockdown.

Source: 9News

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