The Ballina, Byron Lismore and Tweed councils have all been quick off the mark to let residents know that they are back on deck for public interaction and many families separated by LGA borders were able to reunite from Saturday.
‘The announcement is a great win for all the businesses and families out there who have shared their stories of how hard the lockdown has been here in the Tweed – this is your win,’ said Tweed Shire Mayor Cr Cherry.
‘It is now time for us to reopen our businesses, for our children to return to school and to celebrate that some of us can now spend time with family.’
Tweed Council facilities began to reopen from Saturday after the NSW Government announced a lifting of the lockdown for parts of regional NSW, including the Tweed local government area.
Cr Cherry said it was important to not forget all of those who still can’t get to work or see their families because of the great divide that continues to split the community in half at Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.
‘I call on the Queensland Government to lift those restrictions and reinstate a border bubble so we can all get back to work and sit down together again as families.’
As a result of the easing of restrictions, Council will open most of its customer-facing facilities in the coming days. However, some services remain impacted by staffing shortages as a result of the border closure. Services opening include:
•Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre (tip) returns to normal operations for domestic and commercial operations from Saturday 11 September. Tweed JUNKtion Tip Shop remains closed with a reopening date to be confirmed next week.
•Tweed Holiday Parks return to normal operations from Saturday 11 September with COVID-Safe restrictions
•Customer Service Counters at Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads reopen from Monday 13 September
•Library branches at Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Kingscliff return to normal opening hours from Monday 13 September
•Brett Street CAFE at Tweed Heads returns to normal operating hours from Monday 13 September
•Starting Block Café at TRAC Murwillumbah open for takeaway meals from Monday 13 September
•Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre at Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and South Tweed to reopen from Monday 13 September on restricted hours
•Tweed Regional Museum will return to normal operating hours from Tuesday 14 September
•Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre will reopen from Wednesday 15 September
•Community centres at Banora Point and South Tweed, South Sea Islander Room, Harvard Room, Kingscliff Hall, Canvas and Kettle reopening from Wednesday 15 September
•Council-approved community markets, including at Kingscliff, SALT Village, Pottsville, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads may reopen with COVID-safe plans in place.
The next Council meeting on Thursday 16 September will return to normal operations and will be held in the Harvard Room at Tweed Heads Administration Office. Anyone wishing to attend in person must pre-book their seats due to capacity restrictions. The meeting will also be live-streamed. Details on how to book or join the live stream are available on Council’s website.
Essential services including water and curbside waste collection services continue to operate as normal.
For any queries, the community is encouraged to call our Contact Centre Team on 02 6670 2400, chat to us online or email us on [email protected] Any issues can be reported online via our Report a Problem webpage or direct message us on Facebook.
Keep up to date with closures and service impacts on Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Dashboard.
For the latest on regional and rural restrictions, including stay-at-home rules, visit the NSW Government website at nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-regions.
Many Lismore services open today
Lismore City Council announced that many council services will return to normal from today, Monday, 13 September, while some re-openings, such as the Lismore Revolve Shop, will be phased in.
Mayor Vanessa Ekins said the re-opening of many of the public facilities following the lockdown is great news for our community and will be very welcomed. ‘I am particularly excited about the opening of the memorial baths, it has been a long time between swims.’
Cr Ekins said that since the announcement staff have been working hard to ensure Lismore can re-open as many facilities as soon as possible while strictly adhering to State Government guidelines to ensure the safety of our community, visitors and staff. ‘This means people entering any Council facility must wear a mask, sign in with a QR code and maintain social distancing at all times. To ensure the safety of the community and staff, anyone not adhering to these guidelines will not be permitted to enter Council facilities.’
• The Corporate Centre in Goonellabah will re-open to the public from Monday, 13 September operating from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
• The Recycling & Recovery Facility on Wyrallah Road in East Lismore will re-open to the public on Saturday, 11 September with normal operating times. Online booking forms will no longer be required, however, anyone with an existing booking should still attend as planned. The CDS bulk return facility onsite will also reopen to normal days and hours.
Council staff are asking the community to be patient upon this facility re-opening as they expect many people dropping off waste and they must ensure social distancing is maintained, that’s one person per 4 square metres indoors and one person per 2 square metres outdoors.
• The Nimbin Transfer Station will also re-open next week with normal operating days and hours from Saturday, 11 September. Bookings will no longer be required.
They are also hoping to re-open the Lismore Revolve Shop soon, but they first need to ensure we can maintain social distancing. Council will inform the community of its opening date when it is confirmed.
• The Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre will re-open from Monday, 13 September operating from 6am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 7.15am to 4pm on Saturday. It will be closed on Sundays.
• The Switch Fitness will resume 24-hour access from 7pm on Monday 13 September for those with a valid 24/7 access tag.
Group Fitness, Jiu Jitsu and Aqua classes will be capped at 20 people per space.
• The popular Lismore Memorial Baths will re-open for the summer season as planned from today, Monday, 13 September. It will operate Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. When daylight savings begins on Sunday, 3 October, the weekend closing times will be extended to 7pm, allowing swimmers to enjoy the warmer weather.
• All libraries in the Richmond Tweed network, including Lismore and Goonellabah libraries will re-open with normal operating hours from Monday, 13 September. This includes the Mobile Library.
• The Lismore Regional Gallery will open next week. It will operate as previously from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 4pm, with extended hours on Thursday until 6pm. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
• Council’s Ordinary Monthly Meetings and weekly briefings will once again be open to the public to attend in person. However, to ensure social distancing we will have an overflow room where members of the public may be asked to sit.
The Monthly Meetings will continue to be broadcast on Council’s Facebook page and website at www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.
Byron Shire Council’s front doors open again
There is great news for swimmers with the Mullumbimby pool is open for the summer season and the Byron Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum is open to the public for all waste disposal and the tip shop is open.
Other Council facilities that have reopened include:
- the Customer Service Centre at the Mullumbimby office
- Libraries at Mullumbimby, Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads
- The Byron Bay wetlands
- The Cavanbah Centre
Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon said that while Council continued to maintain many of its services over the phone, online or via email during the lockdown, staff were looking forward to being able to get back to old fashioned face-to-face service.
‘Seeing Council’s front doors open again, along with shops and some other businesses and people interacting is important for our social well-being and it makes us be grateful for some of the things we normally take for granted,’ he said.
Some facilities, like the Resource Recovery Centre, are expected to be very busy for several days.
‘Staff will be doing their best to help everyone quickly so we’re asking people to be patient,’ said Cr Lyon.
Everyone visiting a Council facility will need to use a QR code or sign in, wear a mask if indoors and abide by other rules such as social distancing.
The Council Planning meeting on 16 September will be open to the public but numbers will be limited.
The meeting will be live-streamed on Council’s website and on Facebook. The video and audio of the meeting will also be posted on Council’s website after the meeting.
Ballina Council says ‘thank you’
Ballina Council would like to thank the community for their efforts and patience during the recent NSW Government-mandated lockdown. They say they appreciate residents’ commitment to doing the right thing and helping keep our local community safe.
Following the lifting of the NSW Government-mandated lockdown, Council will be reopening the following facilities and services:
- The Ballina Waste Management Centre is open and accepting household and commercial waste from the public
- Ballina Shire Council Customer Service Centre will reopen from 8.15am on Monday 13 September.
- Alstonville, Ballina and Lennox Head libraries will reopen from 9am Monday 13 September
- Ballina Visitor Information Centre will reopen from 9am Monday 13 September
- Community facilities: Ballina Indoor Sports Centre, Lennox Head Cultural Centre, Ballina Surf Club, and Kentwell Community Centre will reopen from Monday 13 September. For enquiries or bookings phone 6681 0500.
- Ballina War Memorial Pool and Alstonville Aquatic Centre will reopen from 7am Saturday 11 September.
- Northern Rivers Community Gallery will reopen from 9.30am to 1.00pm Saturday 11 September.
- The Salvage Shed at the Ballina Waste Management Centre will reopen on Monday 13 September.
In accordance with current State Government requirements, entering the above facilities will require individuals to wear a mask and check in with the QR code provided.
The following facilities and services remained open during the lockdown and will continue to operate as normal:
- Burns Point Ferry is operational. Ferry ticket holders must remain in vehicles and passengers who need to pay must wear a mask and check in with the QR code provided.
- Ballina Byron Gateway Airport terminal is open two hours before the first flight of the day and close 30 minutes after the last flight of the day. Passengers should check flight schedules directly with their airline. The airport continues its COVID-safe practices including restricting the terminal to passengers only, temperatures checks upon entering the terminal, QR Code check in, and increased sanitisation. For further information on the airport’s COVID-safe practices visit ballinabyronairport.com.au/covid-safe
- Parks and open spaces remain open for exercise in line with public health orders.
- All essential services including water supply, sewerage, and waste collection will continue to operate as normal, as they did under the lockdown order.
Council is still encouraging residents to use the Community Portal available on Council’s website at www.ballina.nsw.gov.au. The portal can be used to make payments including rates and water bills, order certificates, make applications, or report issues to Council.
Council thanks the community for their patience and understanding during this recent lockdown period.
For more information on Council services or operations visit ballina.nsw.gov.au or call Council’s Customer Service Team on 1300 864 444.