The City of Boroondara will temporarily close its public libraries, aquatic and leisure facilities, arts and culture centres and youth centre from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until Tuesday 14 April 2020, with the possibility of these closures being extended.
Council has activated its Municipal Emergency Management Pandemic Plan and introduced these measures to protect the community and staff from the risks associated with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The health and wellbeing of our community and Council staff is our top priority. These measures are being implemented today to reduce the risk of exposure and prevent the spread of this virus in our community”, said Mayor of Boroondara Cr Cynthia Watson.
The situation with COVID-19 is a significant and rapidly developing public health emergency and Council officers are continuing to closely monitor the situation as it evolves.
Libraries in Camberwell, Hawthorn, Balwyn, Greythorn, Ashburton, and Kew will close today. Residents are asked not to return any books they have borrowed and will be given an extended due date until after the reopening. All regular programming activities have been cancelled effective immediately.
In collaboration with the YMCA, who manage Council’s aquatic and leisure centres, the Boroondara Sports Complex, Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre, Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre and the Kew Recreation Centre will temporarily close from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until Tuesday 14 April 2020.
Council’s maternal and child health services, immunisation program and aged care services will operate to ensure residents continue to receive essential services. Immunisation services will continue, to ensure the community is protected from vaccine preventable diseases such as influenza and Hepatitis B.
Older people in our community will continue to receive Council’s aged care services, prioritised according to vulnerability, including some aspects of personal care, meals on wheels and property maintenance.
Enforcement activities will be limited to critical matters and this may be shaped by direction from the Victorian Government. Food-borne illness investigation, issues of immediate risk to public health, dog attacks, and emergency building orders will be appropriately managed with the use of technology and the provision of personal protective equipment.
Waste collections will not be affected. In the case where drivers are self-isolating or are diagnosed with COVID-19, Council has prepared backup drivers to continue providing this essential service for our residents.
“Council officers have done comprehensive continuity planning to minimise disruption to Council services during this difficult time”, said Cr Watson.
“Our Business Continuity Plan is in place and we will continue to work with the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services,” said Cr Watson.
All Council-run events have been cancelled in line with the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments’ agreement to ban non-essential, organised public events. Gatherings of large numbers of people in one space should be discouraged and Council is acting on that basis.
Other parties controlling sites, such as neighbourhood houses and sporting clubs, will need to determine their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Council encourages these organisations to seriously consider the implications of bringing groups of people together given the risk of transmission.
“To ensure the health and safety of our community and staff, Council is prohibiting all non-essential, Council-run functions and events until advised. I encourage sports clubs and community groups to also consider pausing events until we get on top of this crisis,” said Cr Watson.