Playgrounds could be closed after reports they are used to socialise in lockdown

NORTHERN suburbs’ playgrounds could be closed to the public by Wollongong City Council if residents continue to use them as a means to socialise and violate lockdown restrictions.

NSW Police and rangers will continue to monitor the situation daily, and Council is warning that without a shift in behaviour it is faced with the likelihood of closing the playgrounds across the city.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said Council do not want to close playgrounds, as they’re an important space for children to exercise at this time. However, he said it’s essential people follow the public health guidelines and keep each other safe.

“Our focus is on the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community and we’re working closely with NSW Police to support their efforts to uphold the Public Health Order,” Cr Bradbery said.

“They’ve told us about the disappointing behaviour of some of our residents who aren’t following the advice and are gathering in playgrounds or not keeping their distance from others.

“We need everyone to do the right thing so that we can keep on enjoying this privilege. Police can’t be stationed at each and every playground, so we rely on our community to be sensible and think of others.

“We don’t want to have to close our playgrounds as we know that exercise at our playgrounds is important for the health and wellbeing of many of our community members. So please do the right thing. No one is above the rules, and there’s no excuse if you’re found flouting the Public Health Orders.”

If your regular playground is crowded or you can’t keep a safe distance from others, Council suggest:

Don’t risk it! Head back home and come back another time.

Try another nearby park or playground. Council has over 150 playgrounds across the Wollongong region for you to choose from. Before you head to the playground, we recommend you check Google Maps for information about popular times. Please note however that crowd data may not be shown at all times or for all locations.

For the most up-to-date information on NSW Public Health Orders with the NSW Health website.

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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 Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is 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 managed several community newspapers. He has been 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), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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