Mayoral Column 25th June 2020
Published on 25 June 2020
Return to community sport
Goulburn Mulwaree Council is preparing for the return to community sport from July 1, following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the NSW Government. It is pleasing to be able to plan for the return of sport, which I know many have been holding out for.
Outdoor training is currently permitted in groups of up to 20 people per field, however this must be non-contact with physical distancing maintained. From the start of July junior and senior sporting competitions, including contact activities, are able to resume.
All sports will be required to keep a record of name and contact details for staff, players, volunteers and spectators as we transition back into community sport. These attendance sheets are to be kept for at least 28 days and are only to be used for the purposes of COVID-19 infection tracing, and should be secured confidentially by the sporting organisations.
Indoor venues have strict limits on attendance numbers, using the one person per 4 square metre rule. Council has now developed a COVID-19 Management Plan for the Veolia Arena and Ross Whittaker Basketball Stadium that will need to be followed by all indoor sports that use these facilities.
The NSW Government COVID-19 Safety Plan for community sporting competitions, and the COVID-19 Management Plan for the Veolia Arena and Ross Whittaker Basketball Stadium will be distributed to sporting organisations through the Sports Council, and made available on our website.
Reducing winter air pollution
As temperatures drop and winter sets in, the incorrect use of wood fire heaters can seriously affect our air quality.
Council is asking people to again be aware of winter air quality, and to ensure you are using your wood heater correctly. Wood smoke can cause breathing difficulties, especially for people suffering existing respiratory conditions, such as asthmatics, and for very young children and frail older people. There is also evidence that smoke pollution can cause cardiac problems.
Some simple steps to reduce wood smoke pollution are:
- Don't let your heater smoulder overnight – keep enough air in the fire to maintain a flame.
- Burn only dry, aged hardwood in your wood heater. Unseasoned wood has lots of moisture, which causes a fire to smoke.
- Store your wood under cover in a dry, ventilated area. Freshly cut wood needs to be stored for at least eight to twelve months.
- Never burn rubbish, driftwood or painted or treated wood. These are sure to pollute the air and can produce poisonous gases.
- When lighting a cold heater, use plenty of dry kindling to establish a good fire quickly.
- Use several small logs rather than one large log and stack them loosely in your heater, so air can circulate around them. Don't cram the firebox full.
- Keep the flame lively and bright. Your fire should only smoke when you first light it and when you add extra fuel. Open the air controls fully for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after reloading the heater.
- Check your chimney regularly to see how well your fire is burning. If there is smoke coming from the chimney, increase the air supply to your fire.
- Have the chimney cleaned every year to prevent creosote build-up.
- If you are buying a wood heater, make sure it has a compliance plate showing it meets the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 4013:1999).