UPDATE | Townsville Events Postponed Or Cancelled Due To COVID-19
UPDATE | Townsville City Council has made the decision to close its CityLibraries, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, community centres and venues and its customer service centre walk-in service at 103 Walker Street as it works to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Council CEO Mike Chiodo said the decision comes following the Federal Government’s new social distancing restrictions that have closed pubs, clubs, gyms, sporting venues, entertainment venues, restaurants and places of worship.
“The stage one restrictions on social gatherings implemented by the Federal Government include a restriction on facilities. For Council, this includes three library branches, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, our sports and community venues, including Townsville Civic Theatre,” he said.
“These closures will be in effect from 6pm Wednesday.
“CityLibraries has an extensive online library service, including e-books, audio books and movies, which can be accessed through the Council website and we are preparing to livestream events like exhibition openings and library story time to continue to engage with the community.
“This is an important social distancing measure to keep people safe and will hopefully assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Mr Chiodo said closing this number of Council venues was unprecedented, but it was the right decision for Townsville
“We will also be restricting Council’s Customer Service Centre to being over-the-phone only. Planning applications will still be able to be submitted digitally, and council is preparing a physical drop off point for applications and survey plans to be physically submitted at boxes at Council,” he said.
“We want to do our part to keep our staff and community safe and slow the spread of COVID-19, and this includes following the new laws from the Federal Government.
“The advice from the Federal Government is that these measures could be in place for up to six months.
“Our staff members who work in these areas will continue with their jobs and in other areas of Council. Council is committed to supporting its staff through this period.”
For more updates on COVID-19, visit health.qld.gov.au.
EARLIER | Townsville City Council is advancing preparations to slow the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) by postponing and cancelling local events.
The decision comes on the back of the advice from the Federal Government for non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people to be cancelled.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the safety of the community and Council employees was the number one consideration when making the decision around events.
“We will be postponing Council events wherever possible and for those that we can, we will be bringing them back bigger and better at a later date,” Cr Hill said.
“We are also in conversation with other community groups and event organisers about any bookings in Council venues and the direction they wish to take.
“While it is disappointing to have community events cancelled, the most important thing right now is to support Queensland Health in slowing the spread of this virus.
“We’ve pulled through challenging times before and we will do it again, we are a resilient community.”
Council will continue to review upcoming events and take the advice of the State and Federal Governments as the lead agencies in this response.
“We will keep in close contact with event hosts and make sure that residents receive the most up-to-date information.”
Impacted events include performances being held in Council venues such as the Civic Theatre, public markets, sports festivals, expos and community events such as Townsville Eats.
Cr Hill said while it wasn’t ideal, the direction of the Federal Government to cancel events and gatherings of more than 500 people was an important move to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
“Council’s priority during this time is providing essential services to our residents and supporting our health services to slow this down. We want our health providers to be well positioned to deal with COVID-19 and other health emergencies in our community over the coming months.”
“The most important thing we can do as a community is follow the advice of Queensland Health to protect our most vulnerable.”
A list of impacted Council events can be found below, and a more comprehensive list will be made available on Council’s website.
Riverway Movie Night
Recycling Open Day
1RAR Morning Melodies
Riverway Movie Night
Townsville Youth Week Event
Moscow Ballet – Sleeping Beauty
Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow
Battle of Coral Sea
Riverway Movie Night
This will be updated as more advice is provided by the Federal and State Governments.