Covid Safe Reopening of Outdoor Pools

20/09/2021 - Covid Safe Reopening of Outdoor Pools

By Councillor Scott

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         on 9 September 2021 the NSW Government released their “Reopening NSW Roadmap”, the plan to lift lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated people the Monday after NSW reaches 70 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated;

(ii)        the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW Roadmap allows for the reopening of gyms, indoor recreation centres and sporting facilities once the 70 per cent full vaccination target is met;

(iii)      the Reopening NSW Roadmap leaves in place restrictions including density limits of one person per 4 square metres indoors and mandatory masks indoor which will need to be accommodated by reopening venues and facilities;

(iv)      on 14 September 2021 the NSW Government announced an amendment to the Public Health Order to allow libraries to open for click and collect services;

(v)       Public Health Orders currently allow for beaches and natural pools to remain open but order all other pools to be closed;

(vi)      currently, natural swimming pools including Wylie's Baths in the Randwick Local Government Area and Dawn Fraser Baths in the Inner West Local Government Area are open to the public;

(vii)     there are four outdoor swimming pools in the City of Sydney, Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, Victoria Park Pool, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Prince Alfred Park Pool;

(viii)    the estimated gross total costs to the City of opening four outdoor pools for lapping swimming only would be $119,688 per week with a net total cost of $86,374;

(ix)      that Dawn Fraser Baths operates more similarly to an outdoor public pool than a beach having a reception area, toilets, change rooms and showers, all features common in outdoor public pools but often not seen at beaches;

(x)       Public Health Orders do not allow City of Sydney residents living in suburbs including Erskineville, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Green Square and Alexandria who live greater than five kilometres from the ocean and/or recently reopened Dawn Fraser Baths to swim for their daily exercise during lockdown;

(xi)      Dawn Fraser Baths located in the Inner West Local Government Area reopened to the public on 8 September 2021. The baths have been divided into lanes to accommodate for physical distancing with a maximum of two swimmers per lane. Toilets are open but changing rooms and showers are closed and sun bathing is not allowed. Those who live in the Inner West Local Government Area or within five kilometres of the baths to book a one-hour session online;

(xii)     Dawn Fraser Baths will be open free of charge from 7am to 5pm, seven days per week for at least the first two weeks of their reopening; and

(xiii)    bookings for Dawn Fraser Baths open three days in advance, and they have been fully booked since reopening;

(B)      the Lord Mayor be requested to:

(i)         write to NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard to seek health advice on reopening outdoor public pools in the City of Sydney prior to NSW reaching vaccine targets of 70 per cent fully vaccinated; and

(ii)        if health advice determines it would be safe, write to NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard to advocate for Public Health Orders to be amended to allow for outdoor public pools to be reopened in a Covid safe way; and

(C)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         investigate how the City will implement the reopening roadmap for City spaces and services, including recreation centres, gyms, aquatic centres and pools, will safely reopen once 70 per cent of eligible people are fully vaccinated in NSW; and

(ii)        report back to Council via the CEO Update with the results of these investigations at the earliest time possible.

Note – at the meeting of Council, the content of the original Notice of Motion was varied by Councillor Scott. Subsequently it was –

Moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Vithoulkas –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         on 19 September 2021 the NSW Premier announced an amendment to the public health order to allow the reopening of public pools with a Covid safe plan from 27 September 2021;

(ii)        on 9 September 2021 the NSW Government released their “Reopening NSW Roadmap”, the plan to lift lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated people the Monday after NSW reaches 70 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated;

(iii)      the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW Roadmap allows for the reopening of gyms, indoor recreation centres and sporting facilities once the 70 per cent full vaccination target is met;

(iv)      the Reopening NSW Roadmap leaves in place restrictions including density limits of one person per four square metres indoors and mandatory masks indoors which will need to be accommodated by reopening venues and facilities;

(v)       on 14 September 2021 the NSW Government announced an amendment to the Public Health Order to allow libraries to open for click and collect services;

(vi)      Inner West libraries have reopened providing click and collect services;

(vii)     Public Health Orders currently allow for beaches and natural pools to remain open but order all other pools to be closed;

(viii)    currently, natural swimming pools including Wylie's Baths in the Randwick Local Government Area and Dawn Fraser Baths in the Inner West Local Government Area are open to the public;

(ix)      there are four outdoor swimming pools in the City of Sydney: Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, Victoria Park Pool, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Prince Alfred Park Pool;

(x)       the estimated gross total costs to the City of opening four outdoor pools for lap swimming only would be $119,688 per week with a net total cost of $86,374;

(xi)      that Dawn Fraser Baths operates more similarly to an outdoor public pool than a beach having a reception area, toilets, change rooms and showers, all features common in outdoor public pools but often not seen at beaches;

(xii)     Public Health Orders do not allow City of Sydney residents living in suburbs including Erskineville, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Green Square and Alexandria who live greater than five kilometres from the ocean and/or recently reopened Dawn Fraser Baths to swim for their daily exercise during lockdown;

(xiii)    Dawn Fraser Baths located in the Inner West Local Government Area reopened to the public on 8 September 2021. The baths have been divided into lanes to accommodate for physical distancing with a maximum of two swimmers per lane. Toilets are open but changing rooms and showers are closed and sun bathing is not allowed. Those who live in the Inner West Local Government Area or within five kilometres of the baths can book a one-hour session online;

(xiv)    Dawn Fraser Baths will be open free of charge from 7am to 5pm, seven days per week for at least the first two weeks of their reopening; and

(xv)     bookings for Dawn Fraser Baths open three days in advance, and they have been fully booked since reopening; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         investigate how the City will implement the reopening roadmap for City spaces and services, including recreation centres, gyms, aquatic centres and pools, to safely reopen once 70 per cent of eligible people are fully vaccinated in NSW;

(ii)        reopen outdoor pools from 27 September 2021 with a Covid safe plan;

(iii)      reopen City of Sydney libraries for click and collect services from 27 September 2021 with a Covid safe plan; and 

(iv)      report back to City of Sydney Committees on 11 October 2021 with an adjusted City budget and timeframes for a Roadmap for Reopening for consideration by Council.

Amendment. Moved by Councillor Thalis, seconded by the Chair (the Lord Mayor) –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         on 19 September 2021 the NSW Premier announced an amendment to the public health order to allow the reopening of public pools with a COVID safe plan from 27 September 2021;

(ii)        on 9 September 2021 the NSW Government released their “Reopening NSW Roadmap”, the plan to lift lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated people the Monday after NSW reaches 70 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated;

(iii)      the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW Roadmap allows for the reopening of gyms, indoor recreation centres and sporting facilities once the 70 per cent full vaccination target is met;

(iv)      the Reopening NSW Roadmap leaves in place restrictions including density limits of one person per four square metres indoors and mandatory masks indoors which will need to be accommodated by reopening venues and facilities;

(v)       on 14 September 2021 the NSW Government announced an amendment to the Public Health Order to allow libraries to open for click and collect services;

(vi)      Inner West libraries have reopened providing click and collect services;

(vii)     Public Health Orders currently allow for beaches and natural pools to remain open but order all other pools to be closed;

(viii)    currently, natural swimming pools including Wylie's Baths in the Randwick Local Government Area and Dawn Fraser Baths in the Inner West Local Government Area are open to the public;

(ix)      there are four outdoor swimming pools in the City of Sydney: Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, Victoria Park Pool, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Prince Alfred Park Pool;

(x)       the estimated gross total costs to the City of opening four outdoor pools for lap swimming only would be $119,688 per week with a net total cost of $86,374;

(xi)      that Dawn Fraser Baths operates more similarly to an outdoor public pool than a beach having a reception area, toilets, change rooms and showers, all features common in outdoor public pools but often not seen at beaches;

(xii)     Public Health Orders do not allow City of Sydney residents living in suburbs including Erskineville, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Green Square and Alexandria who live greater than five kilometres from the ocean and/or recently reopened Dawn Fraser Baths to swim for their daily exercise during lockdown;

(xiii)    Dawn Fraser Baths located in the Inner West Local Government Area reopened to the public on 8 September 2021. The baths have been divided into lanes to accommodate for physical distancing with a maximum of two swimmers per lane. Toilets are open but changing rooms and showers are closed and sun bathing is not allowed. Those who live in the Inner West Local Government Area or within five kilometres of the baths can book a one-hour session online;

(xiv)    Dawn Fraser Baths will be open free of charge from 7am to 5pm, seven days per week for at least the first two weeks of their reopening; and

(xv)     bookings for Dawn Fraser Baths open three days in advance, and they have been fully booked since reopening; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to: 

(i)         investigate how the City will implement a reopening plan for City spaces and services, including pools, recreation centres, libraries, gyms and aquatic centres, to safely reopen in line with NSW Government Health Orders; and

(ii)        report back to Council regularly via the CEO Update on the investigations and actions.

Amendment carried unanimously.

The amended motion was carried unanimously.

S129266

Misrepresentation

During discussion of this item, Councillor Thalis stated that he had been misrepresented in respect to comments by Councillor Scott and clarified his position accordingly.