The safety and wellbeing of visitors to Dubbo Regional Council facilities is of the utmost importance, which is why councillors made a difficult decision at Monday night’s March Ordinary Council meeting to temporarily close a number of facilities to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Given the Australian Government’s new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings, the direction to close pubs, clubs and cinemas, Council has examined its own services in relation to tourism and high-traffic operations in an effort to reduce risk to the community. As such, from 5pm on Wednesday 25 March, the following facilities will temporarily close:

  • Dubbo and Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centres (the season was due to conclude this Sunday)

  • Wellington Caves

  • Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC)

  • Old Dubbo Gaol (ODG)

  • Macquarie Regional Library (MRL) and all associated branches.

  • Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) Box Office.

DRC Spokesperson for Council’s COVID-19 operational response Andrew Parsons, Manager Corporate Image and Communications, said while these facilities are closed to the public, staff will still be busy working behind the scenes, doing research for the Old Dubbo Gaol Redevelopment, planning and reorganising exhibitions and shows at the WPCC in anticipation for re-opening, and providing a book delivery service from the MRL.

“In addition to this, staff at MRL will rollout 24/7 online services, online tech help, Stories at Home and Your Library at Your Door programs, to help the community stay connected to this vital service,” said Mr Parsons.

There will also be a number of community hall venues closing, effective immediately. Those halls include Wongarbon, Girl Guide, Pipe Band, Senior Citizens Hall and back room, and Mumbil Halls.

Closures are also gradually occurring at various parks across the LGA, including Elston Park, which will close at 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.

“We started preparing the community for expected COVID-19 driven changes last week and the decisions we’ve now had to make are no doubt disappointing for visitors and staff; however, the safety of the community is at the forefront, and as such, these drastic measures must be taken,” said Mr Parsons.

Council will also be investigating other ways Council staff can help in the community, by providing a no-contact service of book delivery from the MRL, and looking at how it could potentially help local cafes and restaurants with non-contact home delivery services.

“The exact model for how this might work is still being considered; however, we will have Council staff – who have excellent customer service experience – and minor fleet vehicles freed up to help keep our economy turning, during this difficult time. We’ll provide more information about this soon,” said Mr Parsons.

Dubbo Regional Council is maintaining a section on its website dedicated to updates specific to COVID-19. For the latest health information, connect to NSW Health online or via phone on 1800 022 222.

Image caption: Western Plains Cultural Centre

Last Edited: 24 Mar 2020

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