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Council responds to updated health orders

Picture: Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

WOLLONGONG City Council is assuring residents it will continue to deliver urgent and critical services despite the updated health orders and Covid-19 lockdown.

Wollongong Lord  Mayor Gordon Bradbery said it’s important to work together at this critical time to beat the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

Latest updates

  • Additional restrictions which apply to the Wollongong area were announced on Friday July 9.
  • See the NSW Health website for details.

Following updates to the NSW Public Health Order, which is in place until Friday July 30, Council said it is taking steps to ensure all non-critical worksites are safe while work is paused. Council will continue to have crews on the ground undertaking essential or critical work, ensuring footpaths and roads are safe, stormwater systems are maintained, and people can safely exercise in parks and open spaces.

“We have always prioritised the safety and wellbeing of our staff and their families, our volunteers and our community,” Cr Bradbery said.

“It’s essential we work together and look out for one another. There are many ways to do this, including by following the updated rules and wearing your mask when you’re outside your house, by getting a COVID test if you’re feeling unwell and by keeping your distance from others – and choosing a less popular location – when exercising.’’

Wollongong City Council general manager Greg Doyle said Council had plans in place should a lockdown be required, and we are now acting upon those plans.

“After the experiences with COVID last year, Council had plans in place to support our ongoing operations,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“These plans are structured, meaning they could be escalated if needed to support our staff and community at a difficult time. We have strict and stringent plans in place that will support our staff who are working in essential roles to keep our community safe. While we’ve paused work on some of our major worksites, we continue to prioritise critical works that are important to maintaining our community’s safety.’’

There will be no change to Council’s waste collection services, and its free On-Call Household collection service is operational.

“The Revolve Centre at the Wollongong Waste and Resource Recovery Park – or Whytes Gully as it’s also known – is closed at this time. The tip remains open to commercial operators so that they can continue waste collections, and for residents who have an essential reason to dispose of waste,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“For residents, the On-Call collection is the best way to dispose of waste beyond the usual household red, green and yellow-lidded bins. There is information on Council’s website about what can, and can’t be, put out for collection and I encourage everyone to make use of this service rather than coming to Whytes Gully.’’

Council’s city cleansing staff are undertaking their critical service that keep public amenities, bins and parks clean and tidy. Council’s Customer Service team continue to support the community either over the phone (02 4227 7111) or online through its website, and while libraries are closed, their return chutes are open and services continue online including eBooks, eAudiobooks and movie streaming.

Council’s inspectors and compliance officers continue to respond to critical health and safety issues, and a significant number of Council staff are also working from home, to ensure the ongoing delivery of Council services.

“We were prepared that this shift might be necessary and are supporting our staff to be able to fulfil their diverse roles and functions within Council,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“As well as those employees our community see out and about keeping you safe by fixing potholes, and cleaning amenities, we’ve our development team still reviewing development applications, for example. We’re doing our best to continue to deliver the best services for our community with minimal impact or delays. Where a delay might be unavoidable, I thank everyone for their understanding and patience.’’

Cr Bradbery said people could stay update to date on changes to Council services, by visiting its website’s dedicated COVID-19 page and following Council’s social media channels.

“Council is working hard around the clock to support our staff, their families and our community at this time,’’ he said.


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About Mick Roberts

A 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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