Lake Macquarie City Council calls for calm and reassures residents essential services have not been impacted by coronavirus

WATCH ONLINE: The Lake Macquarie City Council meeting on Monday night is going ahead, albeit with reduced seating and social distancing rules enforced. Picture: David Stewart
WATCH ONLINE: The Lake Macquarie City Council meeting on Monday night is going ahead, albeit with reduced seating and social distancing rules enforced. Picture: David Stewart

LAKE Macquarie City Council has called for calm and reassured locals that essential council services had not been impacted by COVID-19 measures.

Waste collections, roadworks and maintenance were continuing, as normal, the council said.

And council was also doing its bit to help supermarkets to restock shelves quicker.

"Council staff are working with our local supermarket operators (Aldi, Woolworths, Coles and IGA) to remove delivery curfews on supermarket loading bays to help them meet current demand in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak," council said in a statement.

Mayor Kay Fraser asked residents to remain calm and mindful of others as the situation unfolds.

"Council's response continues to evolve and the most important thing at the moment is for the Lake Macquarie community to follow NSW Health guidelines, not to panic, and to remain calm," Cr Fraser said.

Removing truck delivery curfews was consistent with current state government advice, she said.

"We are trying to proactively respond to the current surge in demand, which is expected to last at least for several weeks.

"This will assist with restocking shelves more quickly and increase the public's confidence. This is an unprecedented health event and we need to work together as a community during these challenging times.

"Core council services, such as waste collections, roadworks and maintenance, have not been impacted.

"We are taking direction from the relevant state and federal agencies, which are the lead on this issue, and instigating measures in line with their guidance."

At an organisational level, Council's Business Continuity and Resilience Team, comprising leaders from risk, safety, environmental health, technology, customer experience, communications and more, was working together daily to coordinate council's response to COVID-19, the council said.

"The health and safety of our residents, customers and employees is our top priority and we are continuing to monitor daily developments."

A dedicated web page has been published on council's website at lakemac.com.au/COVID-19 that has more information and helpful links to NSW Health and the Federal Department of Health.

Following the government announcements of a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more, and outdoor gatherings of 500 or more, council has made the following decisions regarding events and activities.

Events and gatherings:

  • Belmont Beer, BBQ and Beats - 16 May (cancelled, with a new date in 2020);
  • All Over 55s events and activities (postponed);
  • Harmony Day Picnic in the Park - 21 March (postponed);
  • Anzac Day commemoration services (cancelled);
  • All Me2 Program activities (postponed); and
  • NAIDOC Week 2020 (postponed)

Counil will tonight (Monday, March 23) make the call to close all four of its patrolled beaches, all six swim centres, all council-run community halls, the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC), Swansea Centre, Visitor Information Centre and to operate reduced services at Lake Mac Library branches across the city.

Council meetings:

Council meetings will proceed as planned. The next meeting is on Monday, March 23. In line with NSW Health advice and social distancing, limited seating will be available. Residents are encouraged to watch the live stream at webcast.lakemac.com.au or follow #LMCCmeetings on Twitter.

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