A message from the Mayor

UPDATED 2.02pm, Sunday 22 March 2020

Our community is quickly coming to terms with the closure of Waverley’s three beaches in immediate response to new mass gathering restrictions announced yesterday by the state government.

I am very proud of how our staff and the public handled the closure of Bondi Beach yesterday and the respect shown towards our Council Lifeguards.

It’s important that this level of respect towards our Lifeguards and Council Rangers continues as they are working very hard to help keep the public safe in these challenging and unsettling times. We will not tolerate any abuse against our staff or the tampering of Council property including fencing.

We all have a role to play in helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and our community must lead by example. Please take personal responsibility and practice social distancing. All eyes are on us.

Our beach closures will take getting used to, but they apply to everyone including surfers. Our Lifeguards are working with the boardrider groups in our area and local surfers to make sure our community remains compliant.

So far, the Council has:

  • closed all ramp and stair access to Bondi Beach with a mixture of fencing and barricades
  • installed fencing at Tamarama Beach
  • installing fencing at Bronte Beach today
  • temporarily closed the Queen Elizabeth Drive (Bondi Beach car park)
  • increased signage across all our beaches and is rolling out electronic signage
  • locked Bronte Pool
  • increased Council Ranger patrols. Rangers are also moving through our parks encouraging visitors to observe social distancing
  • is installing fencing at Ben Buckler Point, North Bondi, to restrict access to stairs leading to boat ramp and rocks at North Bondi
  • Council's free Bondi Beach wi-fi takes users immediately to NSW Health's website

We are presently monitoring our public spaces to determine compliance with social distancing as we see closing any more public spaces as a last resort. Please help us to keep our public spaces open.

This too, applies when visiting our local businesses, who are doing it tough in these times. Waverley Council has an excellent relationship with local small business and we are working to ensure that the local business community is supported, well informed and knows where to access advice and financial support.

Council has established a Covid-19 business assistance support team focused on supporting local businesses. We have taken some initial actions and we are currently preparing a support package to support local businesses. We are liaising with the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce to understand business needs as the situation evolves. We encourage those who have  specific needs or practical ideas or suggestions to please email us at business@waverley.nsw.gov.au

To help businesses in Waverley, the follow is already in place:

  • Delivery curfews have been relaxed since early March to enable resupply of supermarkets and other businesses. This has now been mandated by the NSW Government.
  • We have relaxed footpath dining rules to better enable social distancing. Businesses can space out tables more but please ensure pedestrian and wheelchair access is safely maintained and neighbouring businesses are not compromised. Note: Following the Australian Government’s announcement on Friday 20 March, businesses now need to adhere to 4m2 space per person in an indoor setting. This means for a 100m2 indoor space, you can only have 25 persons in that space at any one time.
  • Council will endeavour to use local suppliers within the parameters of local government procurement rules.
  • We are putting policies in place to allow for extended payment terms and/or fee waivers in certain circumstances. We will work with businesses on a case by case basis to assess how we can best support you. Please contact business@waverley.nsw.gov.au to discuss how we can help.

For information about how Council is responding to the evolving COVID-19 situation, click here. From all of us at Council, please keep safe.

- Paula Masselos

Mayor of Waverley