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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

FNC Councils wind down for lockdown

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The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.

Councils on the Far North Coast are closing several facilities and restricting some services owing to the statewide lockdown which began on Saturday evening.

Ballina

The Ballina Waste Management Centre is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Commercial customers who are permitted to operate under the NSW Government’s public health order can still access the Ballina Waste Management Centre, but household waste will not be accepted. The Salvage Shed (Ballina tip shop) is also closed until further notice.

Ballina Shire Council apologises for the inconvenience this may cause, however it is necessary during this lockdown period to ensure public health and safety. Council thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

Lismore

Lismore City Council has made significant changes to its service delivery.

Closed for the duration of the lockdown are: The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre in Wyrallah Road and Nimbin Transfer Station; The Revolve Shop and CDS Bulk Drop Off; The Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre; The Lismore Regional Gallery; Lismore City Hall, and; Council depots, such as at Brunswick Street and Wyrallah Road, are closed to public access

All libraries in the affected Local Government Areas will also be closed, however, the eLibrary is open, providing access to reading materials in downloadable digital formats from the RTRL website www.rtrl.nsw.gov.au or the Richmond Tweed Library app

The Corporate Centre in Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah will also be closed –  some Council staff will continue to work from the building and people can continue to phone Council.

Council parks and open spaces remain open, however, all play equipment, barbecues, skateparks, exercise equipment and similar are closed and cannot be used.

Roadworks, with the works program continuing, subject to resources and the Lismore Airport will continue to operate with a reduced number of flights

The Blakebrook Quarry, Lismore Cemetery and Crematorium – with some new health protocols in place – and Internal departments such as finance, planning and development, IT and HR will continue.

Residents can be assured that essential services including water supply, sewerage, waste collection and public safety measures, will continue unaffected;

The community are reminded they can go online to pay rates and water bills, order and pay for conveyancing certificates and even pay invoices such as those due for development applications.

Council staff are being redeployed where necessary and/or shared across the region. As part of business continuity, many staff have been set up to work from home so that services can continue.

Lismore Council says they are committed to maintaining services wherever possible during this difficult time. The priority is the health and safety of the Lismore community and Council employees. Council thanks members of the public for their patience and understanding.

Tweed

Tweed Council will temporarily close the remainder of its non-essential services.

Council will shut its customer-facing facilities including: Customer Service Counters at Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads; Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre (tip) open for essential and commercial waste disposal only or waste that may become a public health issue; Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres; Brett Street CAFÉ and Starting Block Café at TRAC Murwillumbah only open for takeaway meals and beverages, and Tweed Holiday Parks, with some exceptions, including for permanent residents, overnight travellers, persons working in the local area, persons who have no other place of permanent residence.

Other closures include the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre; Tweed Regional Museum; Tweed JUNKtion Tip Shop; Library branches at Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Kingscliff (*click and collect loan services will remain, mobile printing service available upon request); Visitor Information Centres; Council events, and; Council-approved community markets, including at Kingscliff, SALT Village, Pottsville, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads.

Essential services including water and kerbside waste collection services will operate as normal.

The next Council meeting on Thursday 19 August will be a virtual meeting only – for Councillors, staff and the general public – and will be live-streamed, with details on how to join available via Council’s website.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said Council had acted swiftly to do everything possible to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the interests of community safety and urged residents to comply with stay-at-home orders.

Cr Cherry said Council had relaunched its Together Tweed campaign, encouraging residents to take care of each other during this difficult time.

‘Tweed residents are faced with additional difficulties – not only do we have to comply with strict stay-at-home orders but we are faced with the double whammy of having to navigate ever-changing rules to cross the border into Queensland, she said.

‘I know how difficult this situation is for so many of our residents and businesses – particularly in the north of the Shire where multiple border crossings are a daily occurrence – and I urge everyone to be kind to each other and show understanding.

‘Together, we have overcome difficulties in the past and it has made us stronger and together we will do the same again now.

‘Council staff through our Contact Centre are still available to answer the community’s questions.’

 

Byron

Byron Council says there is no change to essential services such as sewer, water, roads and rubbish as a result of the seven-day lockdown but there are some temporary changes to Council services.

Council’s Customer Service Centre at Mullumbimby is closed to the public however staff are still working and are contactable by telephone or email.

Waste collection services will continue as normal however the Resource Recovery Centre and the second-hand shop at Myocum is closed to the public.

The facility remains open for commercial waste from businesses allowed to operate under the NSW Public Health Orders.

Council-owned halls are temporarily closed along with the Lone Goat Gallery at Byron Bay. The Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay libraries are also shut and the Main Beach carpark will be closed.

Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, said that while this lockdown is obviously having an impact on some face-to-face services, our staff are all working and contactable. ‘Many thanks to everyone in the community is doing the right thing because working together is the only way out of this lockdown.’

People not feeling well should get tested with a drive-through clinic open seven days a week at the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road.

 

Richmond Valley

Richmond Valley Council will close several facilities and restrict some services during the NSW Government-imposed seven-day lockdown.

General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said there would be no disruption to core Council services, however, Mr Macdonald said in the interests of public safety, Council’s customer contact centres in Casino and Evans Head would close, as would all waste facilities, library branches, including the mobile library, visitor information centres, the Casino Community and Cultural Centre and Indoor Sports Stadium, and public swimming pools until further notice.

Council’s parks will remain open for exercise and regular kerbside bin pick up services will continue as normal. Commercial waste will still be accepted at Council-owned waste facilities.

Mr Macdonald said the closure measures were to ensure the health and safety of both staff and residents, and he thanked the community for its cooperation. ‘Council understands this is a difficult time for the community and appreciated residents’ patience and cooperation.

‘These are not decisions we have taken lightly but are sensible precautions to take considering the latest public health orders,’ said Mr Macdonald.

‘We appreciate our community facilities are well loved by residents but this action is necessary to slow the potential spread of COVID-19.

‘Our facilities are visited by hundreds of people each day, who are in relatively close contact. It is on this basis we believe temporary closures are the prudent thing to do.’

‘We remain very much open for business and our support services continue to be available.

‘Developers, consultants, business owners, builders, and homeowners should all be familiar with the NSW Planning Portal to lodge development applications and complying development certificates.’

The Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional Library has a great range of eResources available including eBooks, eAudiobooks and Beamafilms, which are all available from https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/community-services/libraries-2/ or the Library app.

For more information regarding changes to Council services and operations, please visit –

Ballina: ballina.nsw.gov.au

Byron: byron.nsw.gov.au

Lismore: lismore.nsw.gov.au

Richmond Valley: richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

Tweed: tweed.nsw.gov.au

For further information on the lockdown, go to https://nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/.

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