Blacktown City Council – updated COVID-19 response
Published on 19 March 2020
Blacktown City Council is putting in place further measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff in response to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic including cancelling all Council controlled events up until 30 June.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said, “We have a duty of care to residents and staff to take whatever action is necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
“Based on overseas lessons the most effective way to slow the infection rate is by ‘social distancing’ which includes avoiding crowds, meetings and gatherings, staying at home if you have symptoms of cold or flu, working from home, and putting one-to-two metres ‘space’ between people where possible.
“To this end, Council has cancelled or postponed all non-essential events, festivals, gatherings, meetings and many programs under its control until 30 June.
“Unfortunately, this includes the incredibly popular Blacktown Festival and Medieval Fayre, our Citizenship Ceremonies and Community Forums program, but in these times the health and safety of our residents and the staff who run those events must be Council’s number one priority.
“Council is also subject to government regulations that ban outdoor gatherings and events of more than 500 people and limit indoor gatherings and venues to a maximum of 100 people.” Mayor Bleasdale said.
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 cancelling all bookings for its venues and community halls, including Bowman Hall in Blacktown, for the period to 30 June. Refunds will be issued for all cancellations or postponements.
Blacktown City Libraries, Council Leisure Centres and swimming pools and the Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre remain open at this stage; however many programs have been suspended.
The two public exhibitions at the Arts Centre - Terra inFirma and I am Blacktown – currently remain open for public viewing.
“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.
Seating at essential Council meetings and in Council venues will be appropriately spaced.
Council is installing signage encouraging ‘social distancing’ and emphasising the importance of personal hygiene at all Council venues, depots and offices.
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.
Where possible, Council will replace meetings with phone and online conferences.
“We encourage all businesses in our City to adopt similar measures,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“However, throughout these difficult times we will maintain our core Council services for our residents and businesses.
“We will still be collecting the garbage, looking after our parks and reserves, we will be seeking residents’ input into our planning decisions and we will be lobbying the NSW and Federal governments for a better deal for the city of Blacktown.”
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 23 – 30 May
Blacktown City Libraries has suspended the following programs:
- Baby Rhyme Time
- Story Time
- Story Time Around the World
- English Conversation Classes
- Community Technology Classes
- Knitting Group
- Game Club
- Film Screenings
- Book Clubs
- Multicultural March events.
Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre has suspended the following programs:
- ·open studio
- I am Blacktown launch
- Dark Passage with Julie Vulcan
- young artist club
- en plein air
- tracks partnering with FBi Radio.
The following programs have been suspended at Council’s swimming centres
- Aqua Learn to Swim
Currently the following fixtures are suspended at the Blacktown International Sportspark
For updates Council’s COVID-19 response go to: www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au
For health advise on COVID-19 go to: www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources