Blacktown City Council – COVID-19 response

Published on 17 March 2020

Blacktown City Council is embarking on a series of measures and actions in the interests of the health and wellbeing of residents in response to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said; “Council has a duty of care to the community and our staff and we are fully committed to take whatever action we can to slow the spread of the virus in our region.

“Based on the lessons we've learned from overseas, we must act quickly and decisively, or many lives will be lost.

“We need to slow the infection rate and the most effective approach is through ‘social distancing’ which includes avoiding crowds, meetings and gatherings, staying home if you are sick, working from home, giving people ‘space’ and most importantly practising good personal hygiene.

“Under this approach, the pandemic will last longer, but health outcomes will be far better.

“While Government restrictions apply to public gatherings of 500 or more people, Council has decided to recommend that all non-essential large gatherings, meetings and events in Blacktown City be cancelled or postponed.

“Council will take the lead in this by cancelling or postponing all non-essential gatherings, events and meetings that come under Council control,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Council will cancel the Citizenship ceremony scheduled for Thursday 19 March in Bowman Hall in Blacktown and postpone the Community Forum planned for Marsden Park this Saturday, 21st March in the Elara estate.

“While halting these events is a big disappointment for residents and Council alike, the health and wellbeing of the community must be our number one priority during these difficult times,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

The Community Forum had been planned to spotlight major transport, health and education infrastructure deficiencies that have impacted Marsden Park and surrounding suburbs.

“While we are totally behind the residents with their justified concerns it would be irresponsible for Council to go ahead with a large public gathering at this time,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Council has also cancelled the Blacktown Night Markets Friday 27th March, the Seven Hills Festival Saturday 28 March and the ‘design-a-park’ meeting Saturday 21 March at the corner of Fourth avenue and Prince Street, Blacktown.

Mayor Bleasdale is recommending that all large, non-essential gatherings, events and meetings should be cancelled or postponed.

“We will be cancelling or postponing all bookings for Bowman Hall for the next two months.

“We are also urging residents and businesses to adopt ‘social distancing’ in their day-to-day activities. That is, make some space in restaurants, shops and entrainment venues, avoid crowds and, where possible, crowded public transport.”   

Blacktown City Council is also taking preventative measures within Council operations to safeguard staff and the general public.

Council staff will be encouraged, where practicable, to work from home and non-essential meetings will be cancelled or held online or by phone.

Council staff are being told that they should not attend work and seek immediate medical advice if they have symptoms of cold or flu. 

“We advise all businesses, where possible, to adopt similar practices.” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Council will embark on an extensive public health campaign at all its venues, offices, on its website and on social media emphasising the importance of personal hygiene and advising people of the actions they should take to protect themselves and to help slow the spread of the virus.

For updates on cancelations of Council events go to: www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au

For health advise on COVID-19 go to: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources