News

Northern beaches close: Pandemic forces an early end to swimming season

lifeguard beach

NORTHERN beaches will close almost a month early this swimming season with Wollongong City Council lifeguards remaining onsite for surveillance duties to ensure people are aware of the change.

Swim flags will come down at 5pm today at all Council’s 17 patrolled beaches. The traditional end of the swimming season is normally April 26. Council has ended the beach season early, Tuesday 31 March 2020, as part of the Government’s social isolation and distancing advice.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said beaches are no longer meeting places and are now limited to individuals to exercise and not to congregate.

“Please observe the social distancing requirements stipulated by the NSW Government,” he said.

“We know our community love their beaches but people should not be coming together in a public space to socialise and swim at this time.

“We are still seeing reports of people flouting the social distancing measures and this is the exact opposite of what is needed right now. Do the right thing, follow the guidelines and help to keep one another stay safe.

“I ask everyone at this time to stay up to date and to follow advice from the Government and health authorities. The measures and new fines the NSW State Government have announced today are hefty, and rightly so. Coronavirus could be a life-and-death matter for some people in our community and we all have a responsibility to work together and help one another.’’

As part of Council’s risk-based approach to service changes at this time, Council lifeguards will place onsite and pursue passive surveillance duties to ensure people are aware of the change. Beach amenities will remain open.

These changes to services will continue until the traditional end of season date, April 26 at which the presence of lifeguards at North Wollongong beach will be reviewed.

For more information on Council-related news on coronavirus visit its dedicated updates page.


 

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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