Facilities could close as meetings go online

Facilities could close as meetings go online

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The City of Canning has officially moved their meetings online, as the threat of Omicron continues to build in WA.

Mayor Patrick Hall has also indicated that other city facilities may potentially be impacted as the case-load heads quickly towards its peak, with health modelling suggesting WA may see a predicted 10,000 COVID -19 cases per day by late March.

Council meetings will be livestreamed on YouTube with a requirement for public questions and deputations to be submitted online prior to the meeting.

The move acts as a precautionary measure allowing council meetings to continue safely during the pandemic.

Mayor Patrick Hall said the move to online council meetings was the most efficient way to continue Council business in the safest way possible.

“As the Omicron variant presents the state with new challenges daily, it is important that despite those challenges the City is prepared in a way that allows Council business to continue and also allows for the continuation of public involvement in our meetings,” he said

“Holding our meetings by electronic means will minimise the risk of person-to-person virus transmission, and I am pleased to say that we have also worked hard to put the technology in place to ensure that residents can continue to be actively involved in our meetings despite the changes.

“As proof of COVID vaccination is not compulsory to attend a council meeting, the measure would also assist in keeping the community, staff and elected members safe during this critical time.”

The first online meeting of council will be the Agenda Briefing on Tuesday, March 8, and the decision to return to in-person council meetings will be made in accordance with State Government health advice.

Mr Hall also said other city-owned facilities would not be immune to the possibility of closure.

“Exposure sites within the city have included cafes, pharmacies, and large retail outlets,” he said.

“The number of exposure sites within the city is expected to increase and The Department of Health’s modelling indicates a significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in Western Australia over the coming months.

“Due to the growing numbers of Omicron, there is a possibility that city-owned sites could close if the service standards, safety and statutory supervisory levels (at the Leisureplexes) cannot be maintained.”

Leisureplexes are among the most popular city-owned sites, however Mr Hall said there were no plans to put in place additional restrictions.

“During the peak periods on weekends, Cannington and Riverton Leisureplex do not approach this maximum of total patrons in the Aquatic Centres,” he said.

“The space allocated to each swimming class allows the participants to maintain social distancing.

“WA Health has advised the aquatic industry to ensure non-swimming patrons and staff continue to wear masks around pools and that controls are in place for maximum capacity in change facilities.

“Staff monitor the adherence of patrons to these requirements and The City does not, at this stage, see a need to apply any additional restrictions on patrons beyond the Government regulations.”

Canning’s neighbouring City, Gosnells, confirmed It has no plans to move meetings online.

Further information and instructions are available at https://www.canning.wa.gov.au/about[1]us/council-business/your-councillors/council-meetings