Closures of some Council facilities and services, due to COVID-19 


18 Mar 2020

Blue Mountains City Council has made the difficult decision to close some facilities and services, in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said given the COVID-19 pandemic is escalating, Council services needed to change to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community and staff.

“I am so sorry that we have to take these steps,” Mayor Greenhill said. “This is not easy and we don’t like doing this, but the safety of people comes before everything. This is a time for leadership.

“Services may also need to change further in the coming weeks and months. Council will continue to monitor services, day to day, as the situation evolves.”

  • Blue Mountains Libraries at Blackheath, Wentworth Falls, Lawson and Blaxland will close until further notice. Libraries at Katoomba and Springwood remain open for now, but all programs and events will also be suspended and the number of users will be capped at 100 people at any one time.
  • Aquatic Centres at Glenbrook and Lawson will close until further notice. Leisure and Aquatic Centres at Katoomba and Springwood will remain open for now, but the number of users will be capped at 100 people at any one time. Learn to Swim, Swim Squads and Tumbling Programs will be suspended until further notice. Group fitness classes will continue for now, with social distancing and increased sanitisation. Blackheath Pool closed earlier this month, for the autumn/winter seasons.
  • Visitor Information Centres at Glenbrook and Echo Point, Katoomba will close until further notice. 
  • Bushcare activities will also be suspended until further notice

Council is recommending a suspension of all competitions at Council sports grounds and ovals.  Council is asking local sporting groups to consider whether they can achieve social distancing (as outlined by NSW Health) in training and competitions, to stop the spread of COVID-19.  If not, then Council recommends suspending these activities for now.

Council is also recommending a suspension of all events at Council carparks, parks or reserves. The ban on non-essential mass gatherings applies to 500 people for outdoor gatherings, and now 100 people for indoor gatherings. Council is asking local organisers to consider whether they can achieve social distancing (as outlined by NSW Health), to stop the spread of COVID-19, at any planned events that are smaller than these numbers. If not, then Council is recommending that these events be postponed for now.

Council has already postponed all Council events and community engagement activities. Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub also suspended all programming earlier this week.  

“By closing some of the smaller Libraries and Aquatic Centres, and the Visitor Information Centres, we will be able to redirect staff to other Council services,” Mayor Greenhill said. “We will also be able to concentrate the sanitation of the facilities that remain open, to ensure they continue to be safe for our community to use.

“It is a particularly hard decision to close the Visitor Information Centres as we are still trying to recover from the bush fires. But the number of people from different countries coming through our centres puts our workers at a higher risk.

“Council is planning for a time when more staff will be required to go into self-isolation, to stop the spread of COVID-19. Council is creating a staffing pool, so employees can be redirected to other parts of the organisation.”

Core Council services that remain open for now are as follows:

  • Council’s Customer Contact Centres, at Katoomba and Springwood, remain open. 
  • Waste Management Facilities at Blaxland and Katoomba remain open.
  • Blue Mountains Cultural Centre remains open. This ensures we have one cultural facility open in the City. This includes the City Art Gallery, World Heritage Exhibition and Café. But no events or exhibition openings will be held at the Cultural Centre until further notice.
  • Libraries at Katoomba and Springwood remain open. 
  • Leisure & Aquatic Centres at Katoomba and Springwood remain open.
  • Family Day Care services will continue for now.
  • Blue Mountains Hub – is open for meetings of small groups, when social distancing can be observed.

Council is encouraging the community to use its online services, as much as possible during this period.

You can stay up to date on Council’s response to COVID-19 at bmcc.nsw.gov.au/coronavirus.
 

Contact details for the Corporate Communications & Marketing Program Leader:

Email: MediaUnit@bmcc.nsw.gov.au