Changes to services and facilities

Supporting our local economy is critical, now more than ever. We are continuing to provide essential Council services but there will be impacts to some events and activities. These are difficult circumstances and we appreciate your patience and understanding.

There is no disruption to Council services, such as waste collections, roadworks and maintenance.

Changes to our services and facilities

Customer Service Centre

Council's Customer Service Centre, located at 126-138 Main Road, Speers Point, is open 9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday by appointment only.

Call 4921 0333 to book an appointment. You will be required to answer screening questions around your health and travel, and to provide contact details for traceability in the future. The doors to the building will remain locked, with customers greeted over an intercom before entering the building. Only 17 customers will be allowed into the foyer at any one time, including children.

We would remind all visitors to please follow safe physical distancing and health advice by keeping 1.5m apart, maintaining personal hygiene by regularly washing hands, and not visiting the Centre if unwell.

Duty Building and Duty Planners are available during community hour on Wednesdays, between 11am-1pm.

Lake Mac Print services will continue as per their current arrangement. Services such as Justice of the Peace will not be provided at this stage.

Green bags will be available for collection; however, we will place the bags in the corridor entrance of the building, so customers will not be required to enter the foyer area.

Council events and public gatherings

All public events and indoor programs organised by Council are cancelled or postponed. For a full list of events affected, visit lakemac.com.au.

The Federal government determined that food markets are essential, the Lake Macquarie Farmers Markets will continue to operate. 

Citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship ceremonies in Lake Macquarie City have been postponed until further notice.

For more information contact the Department of Immigration's Citizenship Enquiry Line in 131 880.

Community centres and halls

Our community halls and facilities have reopened to select community groups which have a regular hire agreement with the respective facility. Restrictions are in place to ensure the continued safety of the community. Bookings and access to the facilities are not yet available to the general public at this time. 

Development services

Council’s development assessment team is still offering all its regular services, despite these challenging times. We want to keep our City moving.

We’re processing development applications, issuing building certificates and undertaking all our normal day-to-day tasks, with staff still on hand at our Speers Point administration building if you need us.

We’re also looking at innovative ways to continue face-to-face services, such as pre-lodgement meetings. These may include online video calls and meetings to help maintain social distancing without disrupting our work processes. In some cases, these new measures may even help streamline our systems.

Access our online development services.

Recent changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in May 2020 outlines a two year extension for development consents which were granted before 25 March 2020 and are due to lapse between 25 March 2020 and 25 March 2022. If your development consent was due to lapse between this period and you have not commenced the development, the consent will be extended to an additional two years from the lapsing date specified on your notice of determination. If you have a development consent that is affected by these changes and require written confirmation of the extended lapsing date, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 02 4921 0333 and ask to speak with a Duty Officer.

Holiday Parks

Council’s holiday parks are open. Visit lakemacholidayparks.com.au to book your holiday.

Justice of the Peace Services

Justice of the Peace (JP) services at Customer Service Centres and Libraries are cancelled until further notice.

If you need a JP, please visit the NSW Justices of the Peace (JP) Register.

Landcare

The Landcare Resource Centre is open by appointment only. For plant sales, Landcare will continue to offer EFTPOS payment over the phone and welcome people to pick-up their plants from the centre. Plant sales appointments are limited to two people at a time. The plant sales delivery service is currently not offered, due to increased service levels.

Bookings can be made by calling 4921 0392.

Lake Macquarie Landcare volunteer activities have resumed with restrictions.

Libraries

Lake Mac Libraries are open; however, we strongly encourage visitors to continue to use the Lake Mac Libraries app.

New, easy-to-use self-checkouts are now available at Belmont, Charlestown, Cardiff, Speers Point, Swansea and Toronto Libraries.

Computers and free WIFI will be available at all Lake Mac Libraries branches with appropriate sanitation and social distance measures in place.

We are offering a special exclusive desk service for vulnerable people in our community. If you identify as a vulnerable member you can call ahead of your visit so we can make sure an Officer is there to assist you or we can reserve you a book so you can nip in and collect, like a click and collect service.

Museum of Art and Culture

The Museum of Art and Culture is open. Current exhibitions include, Reconnected: a recovery story and YOUR COLLECTION: yapang
which are both available for public viewing.

The Sculpture Cafe will also be open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-2pm with food and coffee available, plus daily specials. A range of MAC’s programs, activities and resources are available online.

Parks and playgrounds

Outdoor equipment including playgrounds, skate parks, fitness equipment and public baths such as Belmont Baths are open.

While outdoor facilities, such as playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and skate parks are now open, we encourage the community to follow social distancing rules of 1.5 metres, limit their outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people, and continue to practice safe hygiene and wash hands regularly.

Commercial operators wishing to conduct group fitness programs within a Council park or reserve, including bootcamps, group fitness training and other group active recreational pursuits will need to submit an application to Council to do so.

Apply now

Pools and beaches

As of July 1 Charlestown and West Wallsend Swim Centre are open for lap swimming, squad training and aqua fitness classes. Swimmers are only required to pre-book lap swimming for the 5am and 6:15am weekday sessions at Charlestown Swim Centre. Other sessions at West Wallsend and Charlestown Swim Centres will be 1 hour in duration and will not need to be pre-booked. Standard 2020/21 entry fees and charges for West Wallsend and Charlestown Swim Centres will resume from 1 July. Terms and conditions apply.

Toronto Swim Centre is also open. Contact the Swim Centre directly on 4959 9229 for further information about their COVID-19 restrictions.

All other Lake Mac Swim Centres remain closed.

Patrols at Lake Macquarie Beaches (Redhead, Catherine Hill Bay, Caves and Blacksmiths) have concluded for the season.

Sporting and recreation facilities

There are a number of sporting and recreation facilities across the City. The changes to these facilities are listed below.

Users are encouraged to follow physical distancing rules of 1.5 metres and continue to practice safe hygiene and wash hands regularly.

Service

Status

Boat ramps and jetties

Open

Dog parks

Leash free areas are open for the purposes of exercise.

Speers Point fenced dog exercise area is closed while maintenance works are undertaken

Hunter Sports Centre

Closed

Outdoor gyms

Open

Playgrounds

Open

Skate parks

Open

Sportsgrounds

Open to users for the purposes of exercise

Open for training purposes only. Competition and friendly matches are not permitted.

Operating committees and sporting clubs that manage facilities are encouraged to visit the Lake Mac Facility Manager ‘Return to Training’ checklist for further details about returning to training at their facility.

Tennis courts

Open (with restrictions)

Visitor Information Centre

The Visitor Information Centre at Swansea has been relocated upstairs and is co-located with the Swansea library.

All the existing resources and assistance are still available; however, there is now more space for recharging devices, reading brochures and accessing SEEN@Swansea gallery, library services, free Wi-Fi and amenities.

This change will provide the community and visitors with a consolidated service and will also allow the library to operate on Sundays.

Waste

All residential waste services will continue as normal. All public place bins will continue to be collected and maintained as normal.

Awaba Waste Management Facility is open to the public.

For those who do visit the facility, electronic payments are preferred to protect the health of the community and Council employees.