Non-essential Council facilities temporarily closed

Richmond Valley Council will close several facilities and restrict some services during the NSW Government-imposed seven-day lockdown.

General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said there would be no disruption to core Council services following yesterday’s announcement new restrictions would be introduced for the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire local government areas until 12.01am Tuesday 17 August.

However, Mr Macdonald said in the interests of public safety, Council’s customer contact centres in Casino and Evans Head would close, as would all waste facilities, library branches, including the mobile library, visitor information centres, the Casino Community and Cultural Centre and Indoor Sports Stadium, and public swimming pools until further notice.

Council’s parks will remain open for exercise and regular kerbside bin pick up services will continue as normal. Commercial waste will still be accepted at Council-owned waste facilities.

Mr Macdonald said the closure measures were to ensure the health and safety of both staff and residents, and he thanked the community for its cooperation.

He said Council understood this was a difficult time for the community and appreciated residents’ patience and cooperation.

“These are not decisions we have taken lightly but are sensible precautions to take considering the latest public health orders,” Mr Macdonald said.

“We appreciate our community facilities are well loved by residents but this action is necessary to slow the potential spread of COVID-19.

“Our facilities are visited by hundreds of people each day, who are in relatively close contact. It is on this basis we believe temporary closures are the prudent thing to do.”

Mr Macdonald said Council’s 24-hour hotline – 6660 0300 – was fully operational, with all enquiries handled by experienced staff.

He said there were also a number of ways residents could pay their rates and charges online, such as using Australia Post’s online facility, or a financial institution’s BPay service.

He said sending an enquiry to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au or via the website https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/contact/ were also options.

“We remain very much open for business and our support services continue to be available,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Developers, consultants, business owners, builders, and homeowners should all be familiar with the NSW Planning Portal to lodge development applications and complying development certificates.”

The Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional Library has a great range of eResources available including eBooks, eAudiobooks and Beamafilms, which are all available from https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/community-services/libraries-2/ or the Library app.

Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) Operations Manager Brad Willis has confirmed this week’s two livestock sales will not go ahead at the request of agents.

The sales, originally slated for tomorrow and Friday, were cancelled in the best interests of vendors, buyers and community safety.

Mr Willis said he was actively working with all stakeholders to ensure the continuity of business, while taking into account the public health consequences of the COVID-19 situation.

He said vendors and buyers should contact their livestock agents for more information as the week progressed.

“At this stage, sales should recommence Wednesday 18 August; we will be following health advice,” Mr Willis said.

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