Vulnerable members of the Framlingham Aboriginal settlement are at risk of dying from the coronavirus due to a complete lack of preparations, according to a community leader.
Former Australian Aboriginal front man Geoff Clark said administrators appointed by the state government had taken over running the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust 18 months ago.
"There has simply been no discussion or preparations and we are already a community with a diminished capacity to respond," Mr Clark said.
"It's an extremely serious situation and we will potentially lose a significant number of people in our community.
"Many of our residents are chronically ill and/or elderly and at a far greater risk than the general community.
"Now we are powerless because of a complete lack of resources."
After a 40-year involvement with the Framlingham Aboriginal community Mr Clark has been made redundant at the trust.
PricewaterhouseCoopers administrator Michael Fung made the decision.
Mr Clark said he had recently been working as a social, political and cultural adviser.
He said the community was now being administered at a cost of about $500,000 a year from Southbank in Melbourne.
The leader said that left the vulnerable and disadvantaged community was at the mercy of the coronavirus without leadership of any kind.
"How could I be made redundant in this situation," Mr Clark said.
"I've been doing that role for 40 years, since 1979 when I came back from playing footy in Western Australia.
"The timing is just beyond belief.
"With the impact of the virus looming community members are severely alerted about the potential."
Mr Clark said the Framlingham community was already contending with the negative impacts of homelessness, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, elder abuse and local police were reluctant to act.
"We are being restricted in clearly a time of emergency," he said.
"We are a vulnerable community at a time of international crisis and we are twice as likely to be negatively affected.
Mr Clark said with transport another issue, many kitchen fridges in the Framlingham community were empty.
The former leader of the nation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission said it was ironic that sittings of the Koori division of magistrates courts had been adjourned to protect elders.
"But, there have been no other actions taken to protect this isolated community," Mr Clark said.
"People here are living hand to mouth, we're struggling to get the basics.
"People will be door knocking to get a feed and there's another chance of cross contamination ... it's a dire situation.
"It's absolutely outrageous. PwC is failing in it's duty of care. What's it costs to have them in place? Why are they here? what was the need?
"It was immeasurably better when we had self determination. This crisis could impact in a devastating manner."
Aboriginal Affairs Victoria referred calls to the state government's Department of Premier and Cabinet.
A spokesman said DPC was unable to provide comment as decisions about the administration of the trust were made by PwC
Administrator Michael Fung said he would not be commenting on operational matters at the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust.
But in a letter to Mr Clark dated March 13, entitled confirmation of redundancy, Mr Fung stated:
"I confirm that I consider that the duties described in your role can either be performed by other members of staff, are currently not required by the trust, or do not require a three days per week role to fulfill.
"As you are aware, having reviewed other areas within the business, there are currently no vacancies or opportunities for redeployment within the business.
"Consequently, we confirm that your position is redundant, effective today.
"I thank you for your efforts and contribution to date."
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