From the Mayor
As we continue to experience further easing of restrictions, we find ourselves returning to some sort of normality. It’s not entirely business as usual however these changes are creating various ways in which we can operate, and safely.
Council is continuing a staged approach to the reopening of eligible facilities to ensure the safety of our community, staff and visitors. Recent reopenings include:
- Expanded library service – almost all branches are open for browsing and other services such as internet and computer use.
- Pools and leisure centres – gyms and some classes have reopened including aqua fitness and swimming classes.
- Gosford Regional Gallery – we have two art exhibitions open – Coastal Sanctuaries and Emerging 2020.
- As other facilities re-open we will let the community know.
Council facilities reopened have increased sanitising, cleaning and record keep in place to ensure venues are safe for community members and visitors.
I encourage our community to remain vigilant. Through our diligence we can continue to minimise the risk of transmission in our community. If you have flu like symptoms get tested and stay at home. Please continue to look out for yourself and others.
Lisa Matthews, Mayor
Creative projects to support local artists
The Central Coast arts industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and Council is working on several projects to help support local artists and encourage creativity.
Artists can submit work for two projects which include either a financial grant or a prize for a winning artwork:
Creative Art Central 2020-21
A Council-led program open to local professional artists and producers across all artforms. Offers up to $15,000 per project for five successful applicants. Register your interest by 10 July to begin the two-step application process, with final proposals due 19 July.
Y4Y Young Artists Project
Invites young people aged 12-24 years to submit an artwork that aligns with the theme ‘living green’. The artist of the winning artwork will be awarded a $500 gift voucher for Eckersley’s Art and Craft and their work will be used in an educational awareness campaign later this year promoting the use of a sustainable resource (keep cup) to local youth. Entries close July 16.
More info: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/Y4Y-competition
A third project is visually capturing our community’s experience of COVID-19. The “Creation in Isolation” project commissioned and engaged local artists to creatively respond to the challenges of life during the pandemic. Four local photographers and a videographer were engaged to capture ‘spaces, places and isolation faces’, with themes including how the community celebrated ANZAC Day differently, and creative community responses to the pandemic such as taking out the bins in fancy dress. Artists will also be engaged to create mural art on Council assets across the cominh months.
Grants helping the community to recover from COVID-19
Council continues to assist local groups and organisations that provide important community services through the ‘Working Together Staying Strong’ Grant Program.
The program aims to support groups providing frontline community services facing increased demand and operational difficulties.
Not-for-profit and community groups across the Coast are encouraged to apply, particularly those supporting the physical health and mental wellbeing, social connection and safety of vulnerable and at-risk groups. This includes projects such as:
• food hamper preparation and delivery
• swags for rough sleepers
• mental health support
• counselling services
• organisational volunteer support
• helping people get around (e.g. transport support)
• small equipment purchases (e.g. to facilitate education, telehealth etc.)
Eligible applicants can apply for up to $10,000 per project in combined funding and inkind Council services. The program will run until 30 September 2020 or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first. To view eligibility guidelines and apply for a grant go to centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/funding
We’ve also developed Grant Finder – a central hub which lists grants from a diverse range of philanthropic organisations and governments. This tool can be used by businesses, community groups and organisations. Visit Grant Finder at centralcoast.grantguru.com.au
Library browsing, fitness classes and community sport return
As COVID-19 restrictions ease, some Council facilities have reopened with safety measures in place. Others remain closed and will reopen in stages, as we work to ensure facilities comply with regulations and can maintain public safety through adequate social distancing and cleaning practices.
Libraries are slowly transitioning back to normal services. Most libraries are now open Monday to Friday 9:30am-4:30pm, with customers able to browse, return books, and utilise computer and WIFI access and printing. Safety measures include restricting the number of people visiting a branch to allow social distancing, asking customers to limit visits to 30 minutes and recording visitor information. Details: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/libraries-commence-reopening
Leisure centres and pools have also reopened, and are offering activities including fitness classes, casual basketball, and lap swimming, with safety measures in place.
The NSW Government has also announced community sport could resume from 1 July. Council fields and facilities are ready for use, however the decision whether to proceed, and the responsibility for ensuring NSW Health regulations are followed, is up to individual sporting clubs and associations. Sport NSW has issued guidelines to help clubs, participants and spectators avoid spreading COVID-19. See: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/news
We are continuing to reopen facilities as it is safe and practical to do so. To check the current status of Council facilities and venues visit centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/facilities
Council administration buildings and some facilities are closed for public access. However, we continue to provide essential services and have been able to adapt many other services for online or remote delivery. The next Council Meeting will be available for viewing on YouTube. Please visit centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19 for more information.
Customers can contact us by phone on 1300 463 954, online at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au or access customer service assistance at Tuggerah and Erina libraries.
Your health and wellbeing
Help is just a click away
It’s important to know where to find clear information on COVID-19, and how to access health and wellbeing support if you need it. Our ‘Where to Find Help’ page features accessible and easy to read fact sheets, as well as a comprehensive list of health and wellbeing services available on the Coast. View accessible COVID-19 information and resources at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/help
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of our regular workshops and programs have moved online, while others are open for public access. Here’s a few highlights:
During the July school holidays, you can keep the kids entertained with fun and free online content from our Library Services team.
Available to watch online from 6 July:
• Joel Howlett Magic Show: Joel and Parker
• Joel Howlett Magic Show: Card Magic
• Joel Howlett Magic Show: Learn a Trick
• Australian Wildlife: Fur and Feathers
• Australian Wildlife: Scales and Scares.
• Drawing with award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Sara Acton.
Online activities from 6 July:
• Detective Challenge: Put on your detective caps and get ready to solve a mystery! Bookings essential.
• Games in Libraries - Raid on Castle Ravenstein: Join us for this tabletop gaming campaign over 4 afternoon sessions from 6-9 July. Bookings essential.
For more details, visit centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/schoolholidays
Have your say
Community input into upcoming projects is an important part of Council’s ongoing work. At the moment all consultation has been moved to an online format, so we are encouraging residents to regularly visit yourvoiceourcoast.com to have their say about current projects.
Building business resilience
We have created tools and resources to help businesses recover from COVID-19 and thrive into the future.
We’ve developed an Economic Development Strategy Framework to address the impacts of COVID-19 and bring forward key action items to support the local economy. Currently open for public comment, you can have your say at yourvoiceourcoast.com before 20 July.
The Central Coast Economic Task Force, established in collaboration with business groups and government agencies, has developed a support hub providing businesses with one place where they can access important information and resources, such as what government support is available and how to access financial hardship measures with different companies. centralcoasteconomy.com.au
We’ve also helped develop a webinar, Low Touch Economy, which provides information for businesses to reimagine their business models and adapt to the changed environment where social distancing is required. Details: lowtoucheconomy.com.au
A partnership between local business chambers and Council has also created the Bigger Backyard website and app. This platform helps businesses to buy and source equipment and supplies locally and put dollars back into the local economy. Deatils: biggerbackyard.ingoodcompanycentralcoast.com.au
We’re also helping small businesses reduce their water and trade waste bills so they can reduce operating costs. Our free water audit includes a ‘smart meter’ to help track water wastage and hidden leaks, along with a visit and report from a plumber. Details: centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/BusinessWaterAudit
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