Local Councils Respond to Epidemic


Open Space and Community Facilities Closures.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, and to prioritise the well-being of Council staff, volunteers and communities, Council will be closing a number of community facilities across the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA). This includes selected public toilets, sporting facilities, parks and community halls.

All bookings for parks, sport and recreation areas in the LGA have been suspended as of Friday 20 March 2020. Groups that will be affected by these closures are being notified. Several community halls have also been closed. Those that remain open are operating in strict accordance with advice of the Australian Government and NSW Department of Health with regards to COVID-19.

At this time, Cessnock Pool, Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness Centre, and Branxton Pool will remain open, with additional hygiene measures in place to protect community members and Council employees.

For a comprehensive list of all affected facilities visit cessnock.nsw.gov.au/news.

Lake Macquarie

Lake Mac Council’s response to COVID-19.

Essential services have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor of Lake Macquarie Cr Kay Fraser asks residents to remain calm and mindful of others as the situation unfolds.

Council’s response continues to evolve and the most important thing at the moment is for the Lake Macquarie community to follow NSW Health guidelines, not to panic and to remain calm.

Council staff are working with local supermarket operators (Aldi, Woolworths, Coles and IGA) to remove delivery curfews on supermarket loading bays to help them meet current demand in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move is consistent with current NSW Government advice.

Across the region, Council, Local Emergency Management Committee, led by NSW Health, Police and other key agencies, are devising a whole of government approach to providing consistent information and advice.

At an organisational level, Council’s Business Continuity and Resilience Team, comprising leaders from risk, safety, environmental health, technology, customer experience, communications and more, is coordinating Council’s response to COVID-19.

Council is taking a proactive approach to keeping the Lake Macquarie community updated as the current situation progresses.

A dedicated web page has been published on Council’s website at lakemac.com.au/COVID-19 that has more information and helpful links to NSW Health and the Federal Department of Health.

Following the Government announcements of a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more, and outdoor gatherings of 500 or more, Council has made the following decisions regarding events and activities.

Events and gatherings

  • Belmont Beer, BBQ and Beats – 16 May (cancelled, with a new date in 2020)
  • All Over 55s events and activities (postponed)
  • Harmony Day Picnic in the Park – 21 March (postponed)
  • ANZAC Day commemoration services (cancelled)
  • All Me2 Program activities (postponed)
  • NAIDOC Week 2020 (postponed)

Council facilities

· Lake Mac Libraries – Libraries remain open. All programs and activities suspended.

· Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie (MAC) – MAC remains open. All programs and activities suspended.

· Lake Mac Swim Centres – Swim centres remain open. Learn-to-swim classes at Lake Mac Swim Centres cancelled until further notice.

· Hunter Sports Centreclosed

Council meetings

Council meetings will proceed as planned. The next meeting is on Monday 23 March. In line with NSW Health advice and social distancing, limited seating will be available. We encourage residents to watch the live stream at webcast.lakemac.com.au or follow #LMCCmeetings on Twitter.


Programs andInitiatives

Due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Council has made a number of changes to our facilities, programs and initiatives.

Council facilities remain open at this time. This includes our branch libraries, Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG), Maitland and East Maitland aquatic centres, Maitland Gaol, Maitland Visitor Information Centre and Council’s Administration Building at 285-287 High Street. There are also currently no changes to our waste services including kerbside collection and the operation of Mt Vincent Road Waste Management Centre. Morpeth Museum however, is now closed to the public.

There are, however, changes to a range of public programs and initiatives offered by Council. All public programs across our libraries, aquatic centres and MRAG have been suspended until at least Thursday 30 April. The majority of tours and activities at Maitland Gaol will be going ahead, however visitors will need to use their own device for self guided audio tours. Guided tour and activity numbers may also be reduced to allow for social distancing to occur.

Council has cancelled next weekend’s Environmental Awareness Event at Beryl Humble Oval, Tenambit.

There are a range of initiatives still going ahead which include LIVE at The Levee this Friday from 6.00pm at The Riverlink and the Staging Colours program. Council’s scheduled immunisation clinics will continue although with additional measures to ensure social distancing.

At this stage Council’s planned Street Eats for Friday 3 April will still go ahead however it may be split across several sites. Staff are working on a revised Street Eats program that, when complete, will be promoted through Council’s social media platforms.

For a comprehensive list of cancellations, postponements and changes to programming and initiatives visit maitland.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, the above arrangements may change at any time. Council’s website is the place to find the most up to date information.


Maitland City Library branches are maintaining normal operating hours.

As a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19, Maitland City Library’s public programs have been suspended until at least 30 April 2020. This includes public talks, workshops, children’s programs and events. This decision has not been made lightly, and we recognise the impact this has on you, our community.

If faced with self-isolation, visit the Library’s website at www.maitlandlibrary.com.au to access digital resources from home, explore collections, listen to podcasts and lend eBooks.

The situation will continue to be assessed in line with advice Maitland City Council is following from the State and Federal governments.

Any new information about the operations of the Libraries in the days and weeks ahead will be published on www.maitland.nsw.gov.au and Council’s social media channels.