Blue Mountains City Council has announced three new service changes, including closing campgrounds, to help restrict the spread of COVID-19.
"These additional changes are regrettable, but absolutely necessary. Council's highest priority is the safety of our staff and community," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.
"I know the constant changes and updates are tiring, and can be confusing for the community. I want to reassure you that I and council staff are doing everything we can to keep you safe and still provide essential services."
The new changes are:
Face to face customer service at council's Katoomba office ceased at the close of business on Wednesday, March 25. Customer service is still available to the community, via phone and email, as well as via information available online.
All Service NSW inquiries should be directed to the Service NSW offices in Springwood (Raymond Mall, Shop 14, entrance via Springwood Ave) or Lithgow (Valley Plaza, Shop 51, Cnr of Lithgow and Bent Streets) or go to http://www.service.nsw.gov.au.
The Blaxland Waste Management Facility will now be closed on Sundays. The tip will continue to operate Monday to Saturday. This facility remains open to support the disposal of domestic waste collected kerbside and for business contractors.
But council is asking residents to avoid going to the Blaxland tip for anything that isn't essential or urgent.
All campgrounds are being closed from midday today, Thursday, March 26 . This includes:
- Blackheath Glen Campground - Megalong Valley
- Cathedral Campground - Mt Wilson
- Lockyers Campground - Hartley Vale, and
- Old Ford Reserve Campground - Megalong Valley.
- Mt York Campground (Mt Victoria) remains closed due to bushfire impact.
As previously announced, council's essential community services will continue to operate. This includes the:
- Customer Contact Centre at Katoomba (phone and email only from March 26)
- Domestic waste collection service and Blaxland Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility (now open Monday to Saturday only).
- Precinct cleaning of the town centres
- All public toilets for areas that remain open
- City presentationincluding the mowing of parks
- Road crews in the Upper and Lower Mountains
- General maintenance, and;
- Burials and ashes placement.
Development application (DA) services are being prioritised and inspections undertaken, when critical, and with consideration being given to the wellbeing of staff and the community. This risk-based approach is also being taken to inspections related to tree applications, and property inspections for noxious weeds and compliance matters. Given this necessary prioritisation, there is expected to be an increase in processing times for all applications and some delay in non-urgent inspections.
BMCC encourages the Blue Mountains community to continue to access other council services online. Go to https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/ for more information.
"Council staff will continue to work and serve the community in the safest way possible, and under the guidance of our health agencies and NSW and Australian Governments," said the mayor.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to remind the community that the uncertainty, anxiety and fear you may be feeling is also being felt by council staff.
"A large majority of council staff live in the Blue Mountains. This is their city too, and they are living this with all of us.
"I want to extend my personal thanks to all council staff and the leadership team for their unfailing positive attitude in the face of crisis, and ask the community to please be kind and understanding as we find our way through this together.
"The CEO is currently looking at what ways council can best ease the burden on our residents, and the business sector, during this period of uncertainty. I expect we will be able to provide more detail on this next week."