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Collapse Issue 491:<br />30 Mar 2020<br />_____________Issue 491:
30 Mar 2020
_____________
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Beachgoer increase sees 52 rescues at Umina Beach
Fishing operators say they struggle to stay viable
Peninsula fuel 50 per cent higher with crude price drop
Early end to patrols, but beaches remain open
'Character statement' may be developed for Council ward
'Resilience plan writes itself' as needs arise
Rotary president returns to home confinement
New York trip turns to nightmare
Leisure centre and theatre close as council cuts services
Bays Fair won't be held until next year
Italian festival postponed
Rotary club cancels Opera in the Arboretum
Information on government website
Chamber joins in buy-local campaign
Wicks urges residents to remain calm
Council forecasts $32.5 million deficit before virus costs
Council elections postponed 12 months
Council to tender for after hours call service
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
The dire trend of planning approvals on the Peninsula
Toilet condition appalling
When the Peninsula relied on bore water
Offers to share toilet paper
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Health District 'as prepared as humanly possible'
Public health service cancels non-urgent surgery
Private hospital offers surgery to 'relieve load'
Woy Woy Hospital changes visiting hours
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Photographers and artists wanted by arboretum group
Art prize winners announced
Benefit concert postponed
Folk club cancels March concert
Theatre group reschedules plays to next year
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
College campuses transition to online learning
Teachers are designing activities for home learning
School adopts Batlow as 'bushfire buddy'
Schoolwork prepared for online learning
Students take part in photography workshop
Events cancelled, postponed and proceeding
Umina launches Learning at Home portal
School attendance drops to 15 per cent
School subscribes to online learning programs
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Southern Spirit declared runners-up after washout
Women's sevens final played at Woy Woy
Netball association may face tough decisions
Woy Woy Lions activities postponed at least until May
Soccer players wait for news about season's future
Swans season deferred

Early end to patrols, but beaches remain open

Surf Life Saving Central Coast and Central Coast Council have decided to call an early end to beach patrols, effective immediately.

However, beaches on the Peninsula will remain open.

Council chief executive Mr Gary Murphy said the decision responded to Federal and State Government calls to do more to ensure compliance with the regulations around physical distancing and banning of outdoor gatherings of 500 or more people.

"Unfortunately, the swim between the flags message is encouraging people to congregate in close proximity," Mr Murphy said.

"Our job right now is ensuring we play our part in managing as best we can the spread of Coronavirus and protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff and community.

"Lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers' job is not crowd control and social group management.

"Their important roles of keeping children, families and all beachgoers safe at the patrolled beach areas is being compromised during these unprecedented times," he said.

Surf Life Saving Central Coast chief executive Mr Jon Harkness added that an early end to the usual beach patrol season did not mean the end of beach safety education or the responsibility of everyone to be surf smart.

"We know that this decision may seem counter-intuitive as we approach the Easter long weekend break and potentially longer school holiday period, but these are not ordinary times and they require us to take all the precautions we can to keep our staff and the general public safe.

"We are asking everyone to be sensible and follow the regulations about public gatherings and physical distancing.

"We will be back in late September this year to raise the red and yellow flags for a new beach patrol season," said Mr Harkness.

However, Killcare Surf Club president Mr Craig Sheppard said his members were hopeful they would still have a presence at the beach.

"We'll be on the PA with our usual focus on preventative measures and beg you to comply with any directions given by the lifesavers.

"This will also apply to social distancing.

"It sounds harsh, but the team are under instructions that should they have large groups of people not complying with what needs to be done, they are to call for police backup."

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