Staged Re-opening of City Facilities and Services

Published on Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 10:11:00 AM

Fast Facts

• The City of Busselton Administration Building will re-open to the public on the 18 May 2020.

• As of 18 May City Libraries will open but operate initially on reduced hours. Service provision and patronage will be limited to 20 persons (Busselton); 10 persons (Dunsborough). This arrangement will be reviewed weekly.

• Youth Services will remain closed. Reconsideration will be given when Phase 3 is announced by the State Government.

• Options for the staged re-opening of the GLC and NCC are currently being considered and more information will be made available as soon as a way forward is determined.

• In accordance with State Government Regulations, ArtGeo Gallery and the ArtGeo Court House Complex will remain closed to the public.

• The City will consider the hiring of municipal halls and venues on a case by case basis and with adherence to the 20 person limit, social distancing regulations and hygiene controls.

• Public access to Council Meetings will be limited and restricted to those making a presentation as a party with an interest or asking a public question. Bookings to attend in person are required (contact melissa.egan@busselton.wa.gov.au)

• Public access to Community Access Sessions will be limited to maintain social distancing regulations. Bookings to attend in person are required (contact Melissa.egan@busselton.wa.gov.au).

In response to Premier Mark McGowan’s announcement of further easing of COVID-19 restrictions (effective May 18); the City of Busselton will re-open a range of facilities and services temporarily closed in March.

Effective Monday 18 May the City of Busselton Customer Service Centre will re-open to the public and City Officers who have been working remotely will return to the workplace.

Public Libraries in Busselton and Dunsborough will operate reduced hours to allow time for staff to sanitise public touch points, quarantine items, select items for home deliveries and film online programs. Busselton Library will be open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am – 4.30pm and Dunsborough Library will open Monday to Wednesday 9.30am – 4.30pm. Both libraries will be closed on Saturdays. This arrangement may extend for the next four weeks but will be reviewed weekly.

In accordance with State Government regulations and until further notice is given, a maximum of 20 people will be able to use the Busselton Library at one time. At Dunsborough Library, where space is more limited, this number will be restricted to 10 people. Initially library services will be limited to borrowing and returning of books and other library resources and picking up items on hold. Home deliveries to seniors and pensioners will continue for the immediate future and online services for Baby Bounce, Story Time, Lego Club and Online Book Club will continue.

The staged re-opening of the Geographe Leisure Centre and Naturaliste Community Centre will take place as soon as practical. City Officers are working through various options noting that at this point in time gyms are not permitted to re-open, exercise classes are limited to 20 persons (subject to social distancing) and the use of pools (both indoor and outdoor) is severely limited by the 1.5m social distancing regulation which will only allow half a dozen people to use each pool at any given time. Both the NCC and the GLC will need to implement very strict hygiene controls. However, at this point in time the State Government has not provided detail of these controls.

Playgrounds and skate parks will not open until Phase 3 (potentially 3 – 4 weeks). Noting this ongoing closure and the challenges associated with maintaining the 20 person rule at the YCAB building, the City has decided to keep Youth Services closed for the time being. This decision allows our Youth Service Officers to continue assisting those in need through important community support programs such as Cliff’s Kitchen. The decision to open Youth Services will be revisited once Phase 3 is declared.

CEO Mike Archer said: “We acted quickly to close services once the pandemic was declared and we have maintained a high level of essential services over the past two and a half months. In reopening these facilities there are many elements to consider particularly with regard to our leisure centres. As well as the obvious health and safety issues, we must examine cost considerations, staffing viability and membership equity. We will endeavour to reopen facilities and reinstate services with the same efficient promptness with which they were closed. We will not, however, work outside Government restrictions or rush unnecessarily.”

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley acknowledged that the road ahead has many challenges. “I extend my thanks to everyone for the cooperation shown during the initial response stage of this crisis and ask for your continued cooperation as we navigate the State Government's roadmap for easing restrictions here in WA.”

The Objectives out lined in this media release are aligned to Key Goal Area 1 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): Welcoming, Friendly and Healthy.

Media enquiries can be directed to the City’s Public Relations Coordinator, Meredith Dixon on 97810446 or meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au

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