It has been reported in the media that Council is working on a proposal to reopen its beaches. I strongly reiterate that this is not the case.

The Waverley LGA is a hotspot for coronavirus cases and we have no intention of reopening our beaches at this time. The Council is, however, looking at ways to provide managed access to the water for the sole purpose of ocean swimming and surfing for exercise. The Council has been looking at ways to manage restrictions at our beaches ever since they were closed on 21 March due to limits on public gatherings introduced by the state government.

Before our Council makes any decisions about our beaches, we want to address any concerns that the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, and our local police, may have. Any plan to provide access to the water needs to be carefully developed so that we can provide safe access for our residents.

Our Council has a responsibility to help ensure that Public Health Orders are maintained in our public places, including at our beaches. Since closing its beaches, the Council has been working on possible measures to provide safe public access to our coastal waters for the purpose of exercising in line with Public Health Orders, as have other coastal councils in NSW.

At Waverley, this includes working with Randwick City and Woollahra councils on a coordinated approach to the situation at our beaches in consultation with our local police and health authorities.

I want to reiterate that our beaches remain closed and that we have no intention of opening our beaches at this time. If you are planning on travelling to our area this weekend, don’t. Our beaches are closed and you should stay at home in your own neighbourhood.

For Waverley residents, I continue to remind you to stay at home where possible and if you must exercise outdoors, then please follow the instructions of our Lifeguards and Rangers at all times and continue to obey government restrictions relating to non-essential travel, social distancing and public gatherings. We echo the Commonwealth and state governments’ advice: please stay at home where possible.

The Council will let the community know when any further decisions have been made. As of this point, there is nothing further to report.

- Paula Masselos

Mayor of Waverley