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Council confirms closure of VICs, libraries, WIRAC, Stanthorpe Fitness Centre, art galleries and pools

23 March 2020

Council confirms closure of VICs, libraries, WIRAC, Stanthorpe Fitness Centre, art galleries and pools

In response to COVID-19 concerns and following Federal Government direction, Southern Downs Regional Council confirms the closure of the following facilities:

·       Thursday 19 March 2020: Visitor Information Centres, Southern Downs Regional Libraries and art galleries

·       Sunday 22 March 2020: Allora and Killarney pools

·       12pm Monday 23 March 2020: WIRAC, Stanthorpe Fitness Centre and Stanthorpe pool

Visitor Information Centres

The Visitor Information Centres (VICs) were closed last week in response to health concerns for its volunteers, most of who are in an older age bracket and a high risk group. Consideration was given to the risk of volunteers’ contact with people and visitors from a number of different places. As many of the volunteers are in the high risk group in relation to exposure to the COVID-19 virus, Council was concerned that it was not appropriate to place these people at risk. The number of visitors to the VICs had also dropped significantly as tourism activities and events are not recommended by any level of government at this stage.

Southern Downs Regional Libraries

Council libraries in Warwick, Stanthorpe and Allora were closed to protect staff and library users. Library users are predominantly from an older age group who are one of the high risk COVID-19 groups. Appropriate social distancing within libraries between people in and around the shared computers and the shelving is also difficult to monitor. Books and other library resources can still be accessed online at www.southerndowns.spydus.com.

WIRAC and Stanthorpe Fitness Centre

Following direction from the Federal Government, WIRAC and the Stanthorpe Fitness Centre closed today at 12pm Monday 23 March. 

Warwick Saleyards

The capacity to operate the Warwick Saleyards is currently being assessed.

Council will continue to follow best practice with its actions relating to COVID-19. None of the actions undertaken by Council to close its facilities have been designed to cause panic, and the majority of the community has been very accepting of the need to make these urgent changes. Council will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the community and as per the duty of care owed to staff.

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