News updates: Local impact of COVID-19 measures

Please find an overview below of the impacts of COVID-19 measures on Council-related activities or operations as they become available:

Update on Wednesday 18 March, 2020

  • Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray has announced an immediate temporary blanket exemption from any existing delivery curfews in place for supermarkets across the Tamworth Local Government Area. “It’s a logical decision in these extraordinary circumstances we are currently experiencing – it’s sensible we clear the way for deliveries to be made to local supermarkets,” he said. “The exemption means we are eliminating red tape because individual supermarkets will not need to apply for a modification to their current consent.” Major retailers have been advocated for council delivery curfews across the nation to be temporarily to allow distributors to replenish stock. “This is a responsible move to balance the amenity of our local residents with the need to facilitate restocking and delivery to supermarkets and shops of essential household items, as well as to play a role in minimising distress due to stock shortages and to help restore confidence,” Cr Murray said.
  • Visitor Information Outlets at Nundle and Manilla will be closed for the foreseeable future in a move aimed at minimising possible health risks from COVID-19 exposure to volunteers. Most of the volunteers are older residents of those communities. Their last day operating was yesterday. Tamworth Regional Council Acting Manager Strategic Planning, Kay Burnes, said: “Given the age demographics of the volunteers it is the best solution to addressing a control measure relative to the Coronavirus,” she said.

    For the same reason, Moonbi Museum – a Council-owned facility run by a volunteer committee under Section 355 of the Local Government Act – has closed its doors. The Tamworth Regional Film and Sound Archive, also a Section 355 Committee, has suspended meeting in its archive room in Ray Walsh House for the time being although some of the members will be working on projects from home.

  • In line with social distancing guidelines issued by the Australian Government, the Nundle Parents and Citizens Association has postponed the 2020 Great Nundle Dog Race that was to be held on Sunday, 3 May. The event has been rescheduled for Sunday 25 October. The Great Nundle Dog Race is supported by Tamworth Regional Council through the Destination Tamworth Event Marketing Support Program.
  • The annual visit by Tamworth’s 2020 Queen of Country Music (Emily Lysaght) to the Tussock Country – the Gore District Council country music festival in May will not take place this year following the event’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation of the student exchange for ANZAC Day between the two Sister Cities was announced yesterday afternoon.
  • Various events at Council entertainment and sporting facilities and have been postponed or cancelled. This is changing several times each day.

Update on Tuesday 17 March, 2020

  • Tamworth Powerstation Museum will be closed from tomorrow for the forseeable future to minimise any possible risks to its mostly elderly volunteers. Tamworth Regional Council Director Gallery and Museums, Bridget Guthrie, said the volunteers are passionate about their work at the museum but felt they had no alternative but to step away from their roles temporarily as part of the community-wide measures needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Volunteer Ron Greer said it was not a decision taken lightly. “We are all disappointed that this has had to happen. A large number of the people who visit the museum are elderly and many of the volunteers are elderly. Some of our volunteers have health issues which are well managed but it makes them more vulnerable – we have to act in the best interests of everyone’s health.” In the coming weeks there were 12 bookings for museum tours including school groups and some visitors from South Australia. Mr Greer spent this morning contacting them all to advise them of the museum closure. Mr Greer said some of the volunteers will continue to work behind closed doors in groups of three or four at a time. He said there are cataloguing tasks and work to be done to maintain and update displays.
  • The Harmony Day events planned for Saturday 21 March, at the Tamworth City Library and Tamworth Regional Gallery have been cancelled. ‘You are a Living Book’ was an event at the library aiming to bring the community together to share and listen to stories of belonging and acceptance. At the gallery, ‘Elsewhere’ exhibition curator Dr Sam Bowker was to give a guided tour after the ‘You are a Living Book’ event.
  • Tamworth Regional Gallery and Tamworth City Library have reduced their public programs with no large scale events going ahead. Small events including Storytime and Innovation Studio classes are going ahead at this stage. Both the gallery and libraries are open for their usual hours. The library’s home library service is continuing to operate.
  • The Tamworth Regional Council citizenship ceremony scheduled for Thursday this week has been cancelled. A group of 61 local residents are ready to become Australian citizens. They were born in the Philippines, India, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Malta, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Taiwan and Ireland. Candidates will now be part of the next ceremony which is currently scheduled for 21 May, 2020. In circumstances of urgency, the Mayor will provide one-on-one ”ceremonies”.
  • Council’s Section 355 Committees have suspended their meetings and events until 14 June 2020 in line with the NSW Minister for Health’s Public Health (COVID-19 Public Events) Order 2020. Any halls managed by Section 355 Committees remain available for hire and use with individual hirers or event organisers to carry out the usual required risk assessment.
  • The annual Gore Student Exchange for ANZAC Day has been cancelled for 2020. Local student Bailey Wolrige was to visit the Tamworth Region’s sister city in New Zealand and take part in its ANZAC Day commemorations. A Gore ambassador was to have visited Tamworth.
/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.