Locals despair at continued MidCoast Council Swimming Pool COVID Closures

The empty public pool at Tea Gardens (and also in Stroud, Bulahdelah, Nabiac, and Krambach) all closed by Council to comply with COVID-19 constraints which is frustrating locals seeking to swim.


LOCAL community backlash against the closure of the MidCoast Council swimming pools at Tea Gardens, Stroud, Bulahdelah, Nabiac, and Krambach continues unabated as summer approaches.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, states that there is no evidence to date that COVID-19 spreads between people swimming within load limits in outdoor and appropriately chlorinated and filtered swimming pools.

However, local pools remain closed to the public.

The MidCoast Council website states, “Several of our facilities are currently closed. This includes…district swimming pools…This is in line with advice from State and Federal Governments.”

So, what is the advice from the Government?

On a NSW State level, the Council is complying with the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order which came into effect 29 June and was recently updated on 22 October.

In short, it orders that recreation facilities, such as the public pools, require a COVID-19 Safety Plan and at this stage, cannot hold more than 1 person per 4 square metres, excluding staff.

There also must be no crowding in communal facilities such as the toilets, showers and change rooms.

The big issue for the local pools is they have no staff: no lifeguards, no COVID-19 Safety Marshalls and no overarching COVID-19 Safety Plan in place, except for those community swim groups who have done the hard work to put these in place for their members.

Locals have the option of lobbying MidCoast Council to employ staff at the pools to enable access and time for safe exercise and recreational swimming, noting that updates to the Public Health Order remain ongoing and hopefully will improve future access.

In the interim, lobby the MidCoast Council on 7955 7777, or email: [email protected], or use their online complaint form.


By Sandra MURRAY

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