• Heather Waters

Is there an upside from COVID-19 in regional areas?

WRI’s Chair, Juliet Duffy, has shared her thoughts on the COVID-19 situation and some possible positive outcomes we could explore to restore regional areas as she found herself writing her Chair’s report for the 2019 Annual Report.

“COVID-19 has certainly made a huge impact on what we used to know as our daily routines. Each day we would get up and get ready and head into our offices and meet with people daily, now we are finding ourselves behind our computer screens at home during this pandemic.

Many businesses have shut down, many people are without work and many businesses have converted to assisting customers from their homes with no answer to when things will go back to 'normal' again.

As I write this, we are under the COVID-19 implications, after a difficult year of prolonged drought and bushfires. I ask myself, do we keep progressing as usual after all of this? Maybe we needed a global adjustment from a capitalism and fiscal view? We currently measure the health of our nations by how well we are performing predominantly by economic measures. Well, really by measuring how much we are consuming. Is this the index we still use going forward?

When we get to the other side of COVID-19, droughts and bushfires, wouldn’t it be altruistic to suggest:

• that we measure the success of our communities and nations by all 3 sustainability options - economic, societal and environmental values

• that we measure “success” by the happiness and wellbeing of our communities

• that in the immediate future, we value and empower our regional communities for the important services that they provide

• that we strive for the essential equity needed between metropolitan and regional areas

• that we work together and support each other.”

Read our 2019 Annual Report and Juliet’s full commentary here.

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