Blacktown City Council – new COVID-19 measures
Published on 20 March 2020
Blacktown City Council is taking further coronavirus (COVID-19) protective measures including restricted operations at Council swimming pools and leisure centres, and the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.
Council is also moving to ease panic buying in supermarkets.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “We have a duty of care to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and our staff by taking all necessary actions to slow the spread of the virus.
“Council has already cancelled or postponed all non-essential events, festivals, gatherings, and meetings until 30 June, including the popular Blacktown Festival and Medieval Fayre, Citizenship Ceremonies and Community Forums.
“Evidence is clear, the most effective way to slow the infection rate is by ‘social distancing’ including avoiding crowds, meetings and gatherings, staying at home if you have cold or flu symptoms, working from home, and putting one-to-two metres ‘space’ between people where possible.” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“Council will close all its recreational swimming pools and gyms at its five leisure and swimming centres. Lap pools will remain open for squad and individual training in conjunction with user groups. Aqua Learn to Swim and Acceler8 programs have been cancelled.
Tennis courts, with lessons, will remain open and indoor courts are open but team games are not permitted.
Swimming and leisure centres affected:
- Blacktown Aquatic Centre
- Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope
- Mount Druitt Swimming Centre
- Riverstone Swimming Centre
- Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton.
Council will also close the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre to the public but it will remain open to artists.
“Our Council operated childcare centres (KEL) will remain open in line with NSW Government schools policy,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“Our community and senior citizens centres and libraries will remain open in line with the 100 people rule and will have daily hospital grade cleaning in place.
“At the same time, we have given the green light for round-the-clock supermarket deliveries so that shelves can be restocked quickly and therefore eliminate the need for panic buying.
“I urge everyone to only buy the food and supplies that they need.
“Council has cancelled or postponed all non-essential events, festivals, large gatherings and meetings under its control and Council cancelled all bookings for its venues and community halls, including Bowman Hall in Blacktown, for the period to 30 June,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
Refunds will be issued for all cancellations or postponements.
Council events cancelled or postponed:
- Marsden Park Community Forum 21 March.
- Blacktown Night Markets
- Seven Hills Festival Saturday 28 March
- Citizenship Ceremonies, Bowman Hall
- ANZAC Day commemorations
- International Day of Mourning 28 April
- Riverstone Festival 16 May
- Blacktown Festival (including Medieval Fayre) 23 – 30 May
Blacktown City Council is recommending that all privately organised non-essential gatherings, meetings and events of more than 10 people be cancelled or postponed until after June 30.
“Council is also adopting a number of measures to ensure the safety of our staff and residents as they go about day-to-day operations,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
Council staff are being encouraged to work from home and any staff members who display symptoms of cold or flu are being told to stay home and seek medical advice.
Seating at essential Council meetings and in Council venues will be appropriately spaced and where possible, Council will replace meetings with phone and online conferences.
Council is installing signage encouraging ‘social distancing’ and emphasising the importance of personal hygiene at all Council venues, depots and offices.
Hospital grade cleaning will be adopted in all Council facilities.
“We encourage all businesses in our City to adopt similar measures,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
Council parks and reserves will remain open but will operate under the ‘social distancing’ guidelines.
Council community programs cancelled:
- Adopt a Park volunteer program
- Bushcare volunteer program
- Nursery Volunteers
- Nursery Open Days.
Currently the following fixtures have been suspended by the relevant associations at the Blacktown International Sportspark
While athletics events have been cancelled, athletics training will continue at the venue.
“Throughout these difficult times we will maintain our core Council services for our residents and businesses.” Mayor Bleasdale said.
Council services maintained
- Garbage collection – services and schedules maintained
- Recycling – services and schedules maintained
- Clean up – service maintained, booking times may have to be extended
- Maintaining parks and reserves
- Council call centre 9839 6000
- Blacktown City Libraries
- Community and senior citizens centres
- Animal Holding Facility
- All parks and reserves.
For Council’s COVID-19 response go to: https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/Services/Health-and-safety/Response-to-Coronavirus
For health advise on COVID-19 go to: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources