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October 16, 2021

Outcry over closure sees two Tweed Council libraries reopen their doors

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The Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah branches of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library will reopen with limited hours from today.

The public outcry over Monday’s announcement by the Richmond Tweed Regional Library that they would only open for Click and Collect until December, has been loud enough to make Tweed council have a change of heart.

Library branches at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah will reopen for limited hours from today, after Tweed Shire Council agreed to fund the additional cost of administering the NSW Government’s latest public health order.

Libraries across the Richmond Tweed Regional Library network adopted a Click and Collect service only following a decision by the executive council of the organisation, which runs library services for Lismore, Ballina, Byron and Tweed.

The decision was made to comply with the NSW Government’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions, which took effect across the state from Monday. Under stage 1 of the plan, any patron who wishes to enter a public venue, including most Council facilities, is required to be fully vaccinated (or hold medical exemption), wear a mask and sign in and out using the QR code system. Density numbers are also limited under the plan.

Security guards hired to ensure compliance

However, Tweed Shire Council has agreed to partially reopen its two main library branches at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah, with security guards to be hired to ensure compliance with the public health order.

Under the plan, the Murwillumbah and Tweed libraries will be open for full services on weekdays from 9am to 12.30pm from today until next Friday, October 22, when the decision will be reviewed. The branches will be open on Saturday 16 October from 9am to 12pm.

Online Click and Collect services will remain available at these branches at all times during normal operating hours as well as at Kingscliff Library.

General Manager Troy Green said Council had agreed to fund the additional labour hire costs to ensure the safety of all patrons and staff.

Unacceptable behaviour towards library staff

‘The initial decision by the Richmond Tweed Regional Library executive council to limit services to Click and Collect only was made due to unacceptable behaviour towards library staff in the past,’ said Mr Green.

‘We’ve agreed to pay for security guards at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah to ensure compliance with the NSW public health order. These orders are made by the NSW Government and not by Council or those at public facilities and private businesses trying to implement them.

Patrons urged to have patience

‘We urge patrons to have patience and to work with us while we journey through these difficult times. There is light at the end of the tunnel but until then we ask patrons to be kind and respect staff at our facilities and at private businesses seeking to ensure compliance with public health orders.’

For any queries, the community is encouraged to call your local library branch or our Contact Centre Team on (02) 6670 2400, chat to us online or email us at [email protected]. Keep up to date with closures and service impacts on Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Dashboard.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Tweed Shire Councillors are to be commended for reopening two out of three public libraries in our region. It’s good to know that our protests have been heard and acted upon.Thank you!

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