Noosa Council will stage the reopening of its public facilities such as playgrounds, libraries, aquatic facilities, to safely manage the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the shire.
Mayor Clare Stewart said council’s COVID Recovery Taskforce is working on a gradual plan, primarily focussed on the safety of staff and the community.
“We are seeking clarity and guidance from the State Government on what are the protocols for cleaning equipment and how do we monitor social distancing requirements at re-opened facilities,” she said.
“I understand that the community expects a quick response, however it’s important to adopt a considered, measured approach to the re-opening of public facilities.” Mayor Stewart said.
Council’s COVID Recovery Taskforce Chair Kerri Contini said there are a number of factors to consider, prior to opening facilities.
“The roadmap released by the government identified May 16 as the earliest date for the consideration of opening facilities like libraries, pools, playgrounds and skate parks, provided restrictions on numbers can be met and public health measures can be put in place,” she said.
“For example if we opened libraries, we can only have ten people in the building at one time,” she said.
Noosa Libraries will not open this weekend, but a temporary “click and collect” service will be operational from Monday May 18.
Customers can reserve an item online or by phone and collect it from Cooroy, Noosaville or a Mobile Library location.
“It’s critical that the risks to staff and the community are mitigated and when we re-open a facility, appropriate measures are in place to manage the health, hygiene and social distancing protocols.” Ms Contini said.
Cr Stewart said the re-opening of parks and playgrounds remained a high priority, though there were some speed bumps.
“Playgrounds, skate parks and picnic tables still have strict social distancing requirements, however we hope to finalise some details in the next few days,
“We need to be a role model for good behaviour,
“Our responsibility is to safeguard the community against any further outbreaks.” The Mayor said.
Cr Stewart said it was important Noosa residents didn’t become complacent with the eased restrictions and continued to follow social distancing and other restrictions.
“Our community has been tremendous in their response to the pandemic and although we want to welcome back visitors, we need to do it in a disciplined and COVID-safe way.”