Warm weekend may ‘encourage some of us to dig out the cosies early’

WHILE spring hasn’t officially arrived, this weekend’s mid-20s weather forecast may encourage some of us to dig out the cossies early.

Wollongong City Council is urging those who are taking a dip at the beach or at one of the region’s rock pools to follow the public health order and keep their distance from others, and if it’s busy, to visit again when it’s quieter.

For those ready to brave winter waters, North Wollongong Beach is patrolled year-round from 9am-4pm. The red and yellow flags will go up on both Saturday and Sunday. This is in addition to the unpatrolled nine rock pools that are open all year.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the warmer weather, along with the current lockdown conditions, will likely encourage more people to get out for their daily exercise.

“This is a lovely time of year and those forecast mid-20s temperatures always make us feel like getting out and embracing some sunshine,’’ he said.

“Getting some essential Vitamin D is important for all of us for our physical wellbeing, as well as the mental and emotional benefits of fresh air and exercise. We just need to make sure we’re doing it in a safe and sensible way.

“If you’re thinking a swim is for you, head to North Wollongong Beach where our professional lifeguards can keep an eye on you.

“If you’re planning to ride one of the city’s bike tracks or walk a foreshore path, please steer clear of other people. We need to keep each other safe during this COVID time and we can do that by being socially distant, wearing our masks when it’s appropriate, and by picking another location to exercise if your usual spot is busy.’’

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said that with the increased use of parks, open spaces and our foreshore areas during lockdown, Council staff were continuing to prioritise the maintenance of these popular spaces.

“You’ll see our staff out and about cleaning public amenities, mowing grassed areas and maintaining garden beds,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“The scheduled maintenance of the city’s rock pools is also continuing with Wombarra and Coledale both given a thorough cleaning this week. We know our residents really value the city’s beaches, parks and greenspaces and we’re continuing to work for our community to ensure that these areas are enjoyable to exercise in.’’

Council continues to ask people to be mindful of their behaviour when in public spaces, including the city’s playgrounds.

“The NSW Police have made it clear to Council they’re closely monitoring the use of the city’s  parks and playgrounds,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We’ve been told of reports of people using these spaces to ‘accidentally’ meet up. I appreciate this is a very tough time and that the company of others’ is tempting, but we really need to continue to do the right thing for the sake of our whole community.’’

Cr Bradbery also reminded dog owners’ that the times for on-leash beach access continues to be before 9am and after 4pm.

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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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