17 July 2022

'Great first step' achieved in quest to make Jindabyne feel safer

| Claire Fenwicke
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Sign for Jindabyne

Community safety concerns in Jindabyne were top of the agenda at a recent meeting. Photo: Instagram.

Safety concerns were the key items examined at a recent Jindabyne meeting held in response to community issues over sexual assault.

The ‘Jindabyne Safer Community Meeting’ saw representatives from a range of organisations – including local council, police and community service providers – come together to identify issues and brainstorm ways to address them.

One service identified as a priority was the re-establishment of the Wednesday Room “as a minimum” for the town.

“[This is due to] its role in responding to a far broader set of issues than just sexual health, e.g. first contact for sexual assault, mental health crisis, domestic violence,” the council said.

The Wednesday Room was operated by Jindabyne Medical Practice but was no longer open. Region Media reached out to find out more but did not receive a response.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council chaired the meeting off the back of councillor support for improved safety.

READ ALSO ‘Make Jindabyne Safe Again’ movement gains momentum amid sexual assault concerns

Councillor Louise Frolich raised the issue with the council at its June meeting, and attended the safety convention as well.

She said it was a “great first step” to creating support, direction and action for the community.

“The key issues surrounding mental health in our region were really interesting,” Cr Frolich said.

“The plan to have working groups to hone in on particular issues surrounding the broad collection of issues will ensure the individual issues surrounding community safety are given the focus and attention by key professionals in that space so we can get some quality actions happening.”

She noted local health facilities had been inundated in previous years due to COVID, and had had their focus shifted to other areas as a result.

It was hoped this meeting would help identify which facilities needed to be given support to bring their services back up to pre-pandemic levels and improve community outcomes.

Cr Frolich said while she was not up to speed on the Wednesday Room situation, it was an important service for the town.

“[Especially because it has] a particular focus on our young adults in the area that are less likely to reach out to the more ‘mainstream’ options available within our local health network,” she said.

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Other key themes and issues identified were:

  • Improve youth services and resources in Jindabyne, with the council to do further work with agencies to review current provisions and opportunities to improve
  • Coordinate and improve communication and information sharing from a state to local level to provide education on safety concerns, emerging issues, actions and solutions for the community
  • Responsive transport options, including working with Uber to understand recruitment and expansion options, as well as engage with Transport for NSW and the council’s Local Traffic Committee
  • Examine streetscape designs to understand which areas would most benefit from infrastructure improvements that incorporate safety elements such as footpaths, lighting and CCTV

Council noted it had already made direct contact with Uber and would share opportunities with the community to broaden the driver base and “support short-term responsive transport means”.

“Council is working with, and has had a positive response to, Essential Energy on additional lighting,” a statement said.

“The Office of Regional Youth is working on a Youth Activation Plan which Jindabyne Central School students have been enthusiastically involved in.

“[Work continues on] a short term refresh of the Little Black Book (localised contact book for all services) for online access, with a longer-term vision for comprehensive review, subject to funding.”

Police were also in attendance, with Monaro Police District Commander Superintendent John Klepczarek saying it was a great opportunity to engage with the community.

“Any opportunity police have to speak one-on-one with members of the community is welcomed and to talk about the proactive work local police are undertaking in the area,” he said.

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