Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – community updates

Published on 23 March 2020

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Lake Macquarie City Council is following advice from NSW Health on the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Council is committed to our community’s safety and resilience.

What is Council doing in response to COVID-19?

The health and safety of residents, customers and employees is our top priority and we are continuing to monitor daily developments.

We are planning and taking measures to keep essential services operating. There is no disruption to core Council services to the community. 

Public health information has been distributed to community facilities, including our libraries and swim centres across our City. We're also reviewing our cleaning programs and providing more hand sanitiser at customer service locations. 

Council staff are working with our 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.

Our Business Continuity and Resilience Team comprising leaders from across the organisation is working together daily to coordinate Council’s response to COVID-19.

We will also continue updating this page with the latest updates from government and public health agencies. For more information visit NSW Health.

Council facilities

As of 26 March, Council has closed:

  • all four patrolled Lake Mac Beaches (Redhead, Catherine Hill Bay, Caves and Blacksmiths)
  • all six Swim Centres (Toronto, Speers Point, Swansea, Charlestown, Morisset and West Wallsend)
  • Museum of Art and Culture (MAC)
  • Swansea Centre
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Landcare Resource Centre
  • all Council-run Community Halls, as well as Hunter Sports Centre (closed from 8pm Wednesday 18 March)
  • Playgrounds, skate parks and swimming baths
  • Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks

We have reduced services at Lake Mac Libraries' branches. A Click and Collect service is available at Charlestown, Speers Point, Swansea and Toronto libraries, and a home delivery service is also available for senior library members only. 

For more information and to access Lake Mac Libraries online services visit library.lakemac.com.au

Council services

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

Supporting our local economy is critical, now more than ever.

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.

We’re proud to be part of a vibrant, prosperous and growing City, and we want to help business however we can – during the good times and the bad.

Access our online development services.

Council events and public gatherings

In response to advice regarding COVID-19 and public gatherings, several Council-run or Council-funded community events/activities have been postponed or cancelled, including:
  • Belmont Beer, BBQ and Beats - 16 May (cancelled, with a new date in 2020)
  • All Over 55s events and activities (postponed)
  • ANZAC Day commemoration services (cancelled)
  • All Me2 Program activities (postponed)
  • NAIDOC Week 2020 (postponed)
  • May Movie Month (cancelled)
  • Citizenship Ceremony - 8 April (cancelled)

Council meetings will proceed as planned. 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. 

Looking after our staff

The health and wellbeing of all our employees is really important to us. We've been regularly communicating with staff about how we can all keep healthy and avoid transmitting COVID-19 at work, and we have reviewed our cleaning programs to increase our cleaning frequency. We're also implementing a range of measures to allow our staff to work from home or other locations to promote safe working environments. 

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene.

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

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If you returned from travelling recently and have developed flu-like symptoms, call your GP, emergency department or Health Direct on 1800 022 222. Call first, so they can prepare for your visit.

There is no need to panic buy or stockpile supplies. Residents are encouraged to follow the advice issued by the relevant authorities such as NSW Health.

More information

Further information is available from: