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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Northern Beaches Council has taken an unprecedented range of measures to protect staff and the community, support local business and care for the most vulnerable in face of the COVID-19 emergency.

Mayor Michael Regan said these are challenging times, it’s a situation that we are all facing together and Council will remain committed to supporting the community and local businesses.

“We are in unprecedented times and we have had to make some tough decisions to prioritise the health of our staff and community,” Mayor Regan said.

“To do that we have temporarily close some of our facilities and made changes to some services.

“The community should be assured we will maintain all essential services like waste collection, Meals on Wheels and road maintenance.

“We are also aware that our local business community is being hit hard and need as much support as possible.

“We are working closely with the local Chambers of Commerce and have proposed a $1.1million business support package.

“For our most vulnerable, we are working with local community agencies to identify how we can help them to support those who need it most. Plus looking at what we can do to help connect people in this time of social isolation.”

The proposed $1.1 million business support plan includes waivers for six months on outdoor dining, food health on premises and fire safety fees as well as more flexible and pragmatic arrangements for supplier deliveries to supermarkets and parking for take-away pickups. This will be considered at next week’s Council Meeting.

Also, Council will assist local businesses to find new ways to connect with customers. This includes helping businesses with social media marketing and promoting ‘shop local’ initiatives.

“We will continue to meet regularly with the business chambers and keep ongoing communications to ensure the business community stays well informed,” Mayor Regan said.

Council also announced today it would move towards operating a range of essential services, including customer service, childcare, including vacation care and a new library service based on a ‘click and collect’ concept, among other services.

Facilities and services which will be temporarily closed:

  • Manly and Warringah aquatic centres
  • Glen Street, Dee Why and Forestville library branches and Avalon community library
  • Glen Street Theatre
  • Manly Art Gallery and Museum
  • Creative Space in North Curl Curl
  • Manly Visitor Information Centre
  • Kimbriki Buy Back Centre and the Eco House & Garden to close on Monday 23 March
  • Environmental centres and programs
  • The Aboriginal Heritage Office in Freshwater

“I can assure the local community that our customer services centre remains open and fully staffed,” Mayor Regan said.

“Our adolescent and family counselling and youth services teams play a very important role in supporting our local community, particularly at times like these. So we have decided to move to a phone, online and video conferencing sessions so we can still meet and support people in need.

"These are very challenging times. We are a resilient community, we can get through this together. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding with these difficult circumstances,” Mayor Regan said.

For regular updates visit www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au

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