Newcastle City Updates on Health & Safety

Latest information about the City’s response is available at

City eases COVID-19 pressures for supermarkets and doctors’ surgeries

City of Newcastle will give businesses flexibility to ease pressures relating to COVID-19 by enabling more truck deliveries to supermarkets, longer hours for doctors’ surgeries and provisions for social distancing among outdoor diners at restaurants.The more flexible approach will allow essential businesses and service providers to operate more responsively to the City’s changing needs in line with the latest advice from the NSW Government.

This will enable:

  • more flexible delivery times and truck movements at supermarkets
  • doctors’ surgeries to stay open longer
  • restrictions on the use of footpaths to be eased for food premises to help patrons practise effective social distancing

Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said the sensible approach complements the Community and Economic Resilience package currently under development by City of Newcastle staff.

COVID-19 Community and Economic Resilience Plan

Newcastle is developing a Community and Economic Resilience package, to assist Novocastrians through a period of unprecedented social and economic disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is taking proactive actions that will benefit our community in what is perhaps the City’s greatest ever challenge.

Part of City of Newcastle’s work includes the development of a Community and Economic Resilience Response.

The COVID-19 economic resilience package will be considered at Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting and then factored into the City’s upcoming Quarterly Budget Review.

Further information about the City’s response is available at

Statement on Blackbutt Reserve

Blackbutt Reserve’s 182 hectares of eucalypt bushland, trails and recreational facilities remain open as the City continues to work with the State and Federal Government on limiting the spread of COVID-19.

However, activities and services requiring Blackbutt staff to have close contact with members of the public have been suspended in line with current social-separation guidelines (social distancing) to protect visitors, staff and volunteers.

All wildlife shows, animal encounters, public-feeding talks and the operation of the kiosk are suspended until further notice, with bookings for private encounters to be fully refunded.

Bookings for Blackbutt’s BBQ shelters will be honoured should customers choose to proceed.

Events and sponsorships amid COVID-19

City of Newcastle is continuing to work with the State and Federal Government on limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Following restrictions placed on events under the NSW Government Public Health Order, which states outdoor events of more than 500 must not be held before 14 June 2020, the City is implementing a number of measured responses.

Since the Order was issued, the City has been notified of around 30 cancellations or postponements of public events on community land.

For licensed events that have notified the City of cancellation, council will refund the application fee. Similarly, application fees will be refunded for any sports licences that have been issued for events now cancelled.

The City is also supporting event organisers postpone to another date free of charge, providing their preferred new date is available.

Given the current uncertainty around events, the City’s annual Event Sponsorship Program (ESP) will be deferred until after the Public Health Order is repealed. This will give event organisers more certainty when planning their event and related sponsorship applications. The City will provide more information as soon as a new opening date for the program is confirmed.

The City continues to plan a proposed flagship cultural event previously scheduled for later in 2020. While it had been scheduled to fit the national cultural festival calendar, the timing is now under review as we work with the cultural and arts sector on new programming.

The City’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team meets daily to assess the latest advice and formulate plans for maintaining services.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce are its paramount concerns, and the City has implemented a daily update for employees on the response, including advice around social distancing and hygiene.

The response to COVID-19, including how social distancing should work for City of Newcastle employees, is developing in line with advice from our Government partners daily.

Should it be necessary, the City’s indoor workforce is able to work from home given the recent rollout of laptops and migration to cloud-based services.

For more information on cancellations and events and programs at our facilities, go to this council web page.