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Council Column- 19 May 2020- Councillor Rita O’Connor

May 19, 2020

Following relaxation of some of the NSW Government restrictions for COVID-19, there are new changes in the Hilltops Council area. From Friday 15th May Council has reopened parks and playgrounds. However, in order to comply with health and safety requirements it is important to remember the 1.5m social distancing rules. There is to be a maximum of 10 people in a park or playground at any one time. It is also important to practise personal hygiene, wiping down equipment before and after use. It is not possible for Council to clean the equipment after each use; therefore, it is vitally important to carry hand sanitiser and antiseptic wipes with you. Sport, other activities and events are dependent on advice from the State Government.

Other changes that have occurred since Friday 15th May include the reopening of food and drink premises for up to 10 people. Retail shops may reopen, complying with the 4 square meter rule and staff physical distancing of 1.5m. Now, it is even more important than ever to shop local and support our local businesses. The world has shrunk considerably in the past few months and people are rediscovering what is available in the local region.

I would like to congratulate Council staff, ably led by new General Manager Anthony O’Reilly, on the professional manner they have complied quickly and efficiently with the restrictions imposed during this difficult time. I would implore everyone to continue to be thoughtful and respectful of the decisions which have had to be made. While some of the changes have not been palatable to all, they have been extremely necessary. We are in a good position for our economy to slowly recover, without the terrible fatalities suffered by other countries. Let us continue with the good work.

Councillor Rita O’Connor