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Council closes halls, pools, showgrounds, gym and playground equipment in parks

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The Balonne Shire Council will close all community halls, swimming pools, showgrounds, libraries, playgrounds and gym equipment in parks from midnight tonight (25 March 2020).

Council’s Chief Executive Officer Matthew Magin said the decision was made following the National Cabinet announcement last night of further sweeping restrictions to halt the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Council must take the appropriate actions to protect our residents so as of midnight tonight all council community halls, pools, civic and cultural centres, libraries, visitor information centres, showgrounds, council playgrounds and gym equipment in parks will be closed,” he said.

“All functions at the St George Amphitheatre are also cancelled until further notice.

“People who have made bookings to use any of our facilities for social gatherings should contact Council and we will refund any fees that have been paid.

“We are also asking residents and businesses to call or email Council if they require a face-to-face meeting. These meetings will only take place if deemed essential.

“If there are any issues that need to be reported to Council please call us on 07 4620 8888, email us on council@balonne.qld.gov.au or use the free mobile phone application Snap Send Solve.”

Mr Magin said Council had no idea how long these closures would remain in place.

“This pandemic is serious and the information we are receiving is changing daily so we all need to play our part in protecting our residents,” he said.

“We encourage our residents to practice personal hygiene, social distancing, only leave home for essential purposes such as work, groceries and medication and home isolate if feeling unwell.

“Council apologises for any inconvenience these closures cause and seek your patience during this unprecedented event.

“We will do our best to keep our communities informed and will be sending regular updates to the town progress associations and our town officers to place on noticeboards.

“Unfortunately, we will not continue mailing out a COVID-19 community newsletter to all residents as the information is changing too quickly to keep it up to date.

“We ask that you check our social media, website and town noticeboards for any information we are disseminating. Those with access to social media are asked to pass this information on to those that don’t. If we all work together we will get through this.”

New prohibited activities announced by the Prime Minister last night include:

  • Closure of auction houses, real estate auctions and open house inspections
  • Hairdressers and barber shops (Up to 30-minute appointments and one person per 4m2 rule applies in premises)
  • Closure of beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas and massage parlours
  • Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums
  • Play centres (indoor and outdoor)
  • Community and recreation centres – except for provision of essential voluntary or public services such as food banks or homeless services
  • Swimming pools
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites
  • Libraries, community centres and youth centres
  • Local Government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools)
  • Community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs)
  • Places of worship, weddings and funerals (Weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than 5 people and where the one person per 4m2 rule applies. Funerals attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people and where the one person per 4m2 rule applies.
  • Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  • Boot camps, personal training operating outside and inside. (For outside events, limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be adhered to.
  • Social sporting-based activities
  • Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues
  • Casinos, gaming or gambling venues
  • Cinemas or nightclubs
  • Amusement parks and arcades
  • Cafes (Takeaway and home delivery only)
  • Food courts (Delivery and takeaway can remain operational)

Published: 25th March 2020

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