Cleaning ‘blitz’ creates 40 jobs

A council cleaner in central Geelong. (City of Greater Geelong)

By Luke Voogt

Up to 40 locals will gain temporary employment following the announcement of a state-wide “cleaning blitz”, according to council.

The workers will hit the streets in the four-week blitz to disinfect and wipe down street benches, handrails, door handles, traffic light buttons, poles, bicycle stands, bins and other surfaces.

Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the program built on City Hall’s public cleaning program, which focused on CBD shopping precincts and high-pedestrian areas.

“The Victorian Government’s program will see cleaners provide further cleaning and sanitising services at regional shopping precincts.

“The cleaning blitz initiative will provide another short-term local employment boost and help to further increase community confidence in our public spaces as restrictions start to slowly ease.”

State government announced the blitz last week appointing cleaning contractor ISS Facility Services to deliver the program.

The program would create 1500 short-term jobs for cleaners in 36 municipalities across Victoria, Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek said.

Local councils and government would work together to “pinpoint the right areas” for the cleaning blitz, he said.

“Local councils have a vital role to play in supporting communities as we look cautiously to the other side of the pandemic.”

The $500 million blitz would create employment across Victoria for 1500 people who had lost their jobs while delivering a valuable community service, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said.

“This blitz provides immediate work and wages to people who need it most, so they can pay the bills while they search for more permanent positions.

“We’re taking the first cautious steps when it comes to easing restrictions, and the jobs that will be done as part of this program are an important part of that process.”

The initiative builds on council’s public cleaning program, which has provided re-deployment opportunities for stood-down workers, according to City Hall.

Earlier this month City Hall said it had redeployed more than 200 workers out of 576 that it had previously stood down due to COVID-19 closures.

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