HELENSBURGH, Thirroul and Corrimal swimming pools will close to the public at 5pm today until further notice as Wollongong City Council takes further steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Council will close its nine supervised swimming pools, from close of business today, Wednesday March 25.
The north’s rock pools are considered unsupervised and will continue to be maintained. While they are not affected by the closure, people are asked to follow the Government’s social isolation and distancing advice before considering a swim.
A spokesperson said the pool closures are to support the Federal and State Government’s social distancing measures.
Besides Helensburgh, Thirroul and Corrimal, the closures affects both chlorinated and saltwater pools at Berkeley, Dapto and Western Suburbs (Unanderra), as well as the Continental, Port Kembla pools. Beaton Park pool is already closed.
“It has been said many times over, but this is an unprecedented time,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said.
“The steps Council is taking to close various facilities and services like our supervised pools, and our libraries, are not decisions we make lightly.
“The NSW Health advice did not suggest the pools were unsafe for swimming. However, they do pose a challenge when it comes to supporting social isolation and social distancing measures. By taking these facilities offline, we are reinforcing and complying with advice from the State and Federal Governments on social distancing.
“Our community is a supportive, compassionate and caring one. Please follow advice from authorities we’re working together to protect the vulnerable members of our community.’’
In addition to the closure of the supervised pools, funerals at Wollongong Memorial Gardens and Cemeteries will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people, and personal fitness trainers in open spaces will also have a maximum of 10 people.
The closure of the supervised pools follows Council’s announcement on Monday to close the following services to the public:
- Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building.
- Council’s Customer Service Centre. The team will be available online and over the phone only.
- Libraries – online services will continue to be available through the Library’s website and mobile library services.
- Wollongong Art Gallery.
- Wollongong Youth Centre.
- The indoor pool, gyms, spa and sauna and hall at Beaton Park and Lakeside Leisure Centres. Selected outdoor services and functions will remain open.
- All community facility buildings (except childcare centres).
- Wollongong Council’s Friday Men’s Shed
- Volunteering Illawarra.
The following key services will remain open at this time:
- Lifeguard services on all 17 patrolled beaches.
- Wollongong Botanic Garden, remains open. However, the Friends of the Botanic Garden program, and all public programs, are suspended until further notice.
- Russell Vale Golf Course
- Wollongong Memorial Gardens and Cemeteries
- Wollongong Tourist Parks. However, the tourist parks offer reduced caravan and camping options. Self-contained cabin options are available for the purpose of essential travel and to support existing bookings.
Cr Bradbery said while there were modifications to services, Council staff were working hard to support ongoing operations.
“We have taken a community-oriented, risk-based approach to the delivery of our services and these modifications are to support the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, their families and our community,’’ he said.
“Council is constantly reviewing and will respond to further updates and advice. There will not be an overnight solution for this virus, and we have the flexibility to adapt the plans we have in place to ensure essential services, like waste collection and road repairs, continue.’’
Cr Bradbery urged residents and businesses finding it financially tough to contact the Customer Service team on 4227 7111 or visit Council’s website for information on our Debt Recovery and Rates Hardship Policy.
For more information visit Council’s Coronavirus information page.
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