Council facilities to shut from midnight in COVID-19 response

Published on 25 March 2020

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MidCoast Council will close libraries, visitor information centres, playgrounds, parks and a range of other facilities from midnight tonight in line with the Federal Government’s latest COVID-19 measures to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.

A number of the facilities had been scheduled to close from 5pm Friday, however this has been brought forward to meet the stringent new requirements announced last night by the Prime Minister.

“We will now be closing libraries, visitor information centres, our regional gallery and our customer service centres from this afternoon,” General Manager Adrian Panuccio said.

Essential services such as water provision, sewer services, road maintenance and rubbish collection will continue.

Members of the community will be able to continue to do business with Council via phone, email and online services.

Playgrounds will also be closed and signage placed in parks and on beaches to remind the community of the anti-gathering requirements of the Federal Government, Mr Panuccio said.

All Council owned pools, including the YMCA operated facilities in Taree, Forster and Wingham closed on Monday, with the Manning Entertainment Centre closed late last week.

Council owned halls and facilities will also no longer be able to be hired.

MidCoast Council will continue to provide essential services to the community and the following facilities remain open for business including:

  •  Gloucester’s Service NSW and Services Australia (Centrelink) agencies
  • Waste Management Centres

Council’s public amenities will remain open while ever they can be appropriately cleaned and hygiene facilities can be provided. Council is endeavouring to provide toilet paper and soap where possible, however is battling an increase in theft and vandalism. Facilities may be closed on short notice if these requirements are unable to be fulfilled.

The annual bulky waste collections have also been suspended at this point in time to prioritise weekly and fortnightly rubbish collections. Any members of the community who have put their waste out to be collected need to remove it from the side of the road.

“We are doing everything we can to support our staff and customers in these challenging times and are committed to ensuring the vital services we provide continue,” Mr Panuccio said.

The situation is changing rapidly and Council encourages everyone in the community to stay up to date by visiting, and by following the Council facebook page.