A message from the Mayor this festive season

21 December 2020

2020 has been a year like no other. Our community continues to face the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, but compassion, resilience and determination have characterised the way Council and community have dealt with the unprecedented events of the past few months.

I am proud of our community for responding with kindness and selflessness in the face of adversity; from residents banding together in January to help people affected by bushfires to the many acts of kindness witnessed across Waverley under COVID-19 restrictions. We have always had a strong sense of community and it’s been wonderful to see this come to the fore this year when most needed.

This was particular evident over the weekend when thousands of people lined up to get tested at Bondi Beach drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic. The clinic is staffed at full capacity and the team at St Vincent's Health are doing a wonderful job. Testing is our number-one defence against COVID-19, and with new restrictions on gatherings and travel now in place for Greater Sydney, we must continue to remain vigilant. During this time I also encourage everyone to wear masks when out an about.

Council has worked hard to support the community and business throughout the pandemic. Our $1 million per month business relief package continues to support local businesses, and we are working with the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce through the Keep it Local campaign to promote local businesses who have had to adapt to changing restrictions.

Council officers have worked tirelessly to ensure our essential services were not interrupted this year, as well as delivering great projects and initiatives for everyone, which you can read about in this edition. Policy and actions with positive social impact and civic benefits has been enacted along with supporting infrastructure.

Council is ready to help beach visitors follow NSW Health’s current public health orders (PHOs) and health advice through our comprehensive Summer 2020-21 Outdoor Public Spaces Operational Management Plan. The plan covers Waverley’s beaches, parks and reserves, the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, picnic tables, BBQs, and outdoor seating areas and outdoor fitness stations and playgrounds.

Our fantastic Beach Ambassadors and other Council staff will be available to help, and Council will continue to manage our beaches and open spaces in line with our Summer Plan.

This is not going to be a normal summer or indeed a normal Christmas for many, so I encourage everyone to continue to use our public places safely and get tested. If you intend to use our beaches, parks and outdoor spaces and they look busy, please come back another time or use that time to visit one of our many local businesses.

On behalf of everyone at Waverley Council and my fellow Waverley Councillors, I would like to thank the community again for their kindness and resilience in 2020. Please, continue to stay safe, and have a wonderful festive season and summer in Waverley.

Paula Masselos

Mayor of Waverley