Mayoral Column 8th October 2021
Published on 08 October 2021
Roadmap for reopening
As has been well publicised, from Monday 11th October we will see the first easing of restrictions, following NSW’s achievement of 70% full vaccination for eligible people over the age of 16.
Greater freedoms will be granted to those who are fully vaccinated only at this stage, with further easing of restrictions when we hit 80% in the coming weeks.
From Monday those who are fully vaccinated are able to have 10 visitors allowed at a home as long as they’ve had two doses. Small outdoor gatherings and recreation will be permitted with up to 30 people and visitation to aged care facilities and disability homes will again be permitted.
Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes, and restaurants and hospitality venues will reopen with restrictions on numbers based on the 4sqm rule.
There are a number of other restrictions being eased, with this available to view on the NSW Government website – just google ‘Reopening NSW 70%.’
Council venues will also be reopening, including the Goulburn Mulwaree Library, the Art Gallery, Rocky Hill Museum, Community Centre and our Civic Centre. As per the NSW Government rules you must prove that you have had two vaccinations by producing this certificate (in hard copy or digitally) when undertaking the QR check-ins. Our staff at each of these venues will be monitoring this and we ask that you respect our team members who are members of our community as well; these staff are simply doing their job in enforcing the rules and guidelines issued by the NSW Government.
Our vaccination rates in Goulburn Mulwaree have accelerated quickly over the past 2-3 weeks which is brilliant news. Once the supply was given to our region we have seen a sharp increase, showing the demand for vaccinations was always there. As of the 5th October we were at 88.5% for 1st dose, and 58.2% for second dose vaccinations. I encourage the community to keep going, and to hope to see us eventually soar through 90% double dose in the near future; let’s not become complacent as the restrictions ease.
Building Better Regions Fund Results
On Friday morning we were notified of results of applications to round 5 of the Federal Government Building Better Regions Fund. We have had great success with this fund in previous rounds, and we were pleased to again have success with $250,000 received for the construction of an ornamental garden and picnic lawn as part of the Shibetsu Japanese Gardens in Victoria Park.
Two other projects put forward by other organisations were also successful in Goulburn, and my congratulations go to Endeavour Industries and the Challenge Foundation for these two projects which will greatly benefit our region:
- $2,790,000 for the Challenge Foundation in Goulburn to construct a fully supported accommodation facility for ten adults with disabilities.
- $487,500 for Endeavour Industries in Goulburn to upgrade their 'Materials Recovery Facility', increasing recycling capabilities.
Unfortunately our other two Council applications were unsuccessful. We put forward a joint application for the Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail with Upper Lachlan Shire Council, and a $2 million application for the Goulburn Community Centre.
We will now go through the process of obtaining further feedback on why these projects missed out, and will keep them in our pocket for future funding programs.
Free Waste Weekend postponed
Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s upcoming free waste disposal weekend due to be held on the first weekend in November has been postponed until Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December 2021 due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
Council has made the decision to postpone the disposal weekend in line with the NSW Government restrictions of large gatherings and organised events during the pandemic. The NSW roadmap to reopening indicates that organised events with unlimited attendees are permissible (with a COVID-safe plan in place) from 1 December 2021 and Council needs to abide by these conditions.
We know that the timing for postponing the disposal weekend is not ideal, as many people are using this time to clean out the home or shed, however it is absolutely necessary that we adhere to the restrictions in order to keep our community safe.
As we are still under tight restrictions, it is important that we as a community continue to do the right thing in social distancing and only undertaking essential activities. Council needs to play a role, and a disposal weekend that would be classified as a large organised event is simply not possible and non-essential at this point in time.
I am sure a disposal weekend at the beginning of December will work well for an end of year clean-out and expect it will still be a busy weekend.