Bayside's COVID-safe summer

Bayside Council's Foreshore Ambassadors at Brighton-Le-Sands last summer. Picture: John Veage
Bayside Council's Foreshore Ambassadors at Brighton-Le-Sands last summer. Picture: John Veage

An extra $70,000 will be added to Bayside Council's 2021 Summer Foreshore Program to ensure a COVID-safe summer.

This follows a $250,000 State Government grant to Bayside Council under the NSW Government initiative NSW Partnerships: Local Councils.

The government has offered the 12 local government areas classified as areas of concern during lockdown $250,000 each to develop community programs that will rapidly deliver pandemic support to vulnerable communities.

The funding will be provided to provide specialised staff and support community groups and programs.

Bayside Council's October 13 meeting endorsed the grant expenditure to be allocated to a number of community recovery programs.

This includes $80,000 to be allocated towards Business Alfresco Dining Zones to provide opportunities for small businesses in the LGA.

$50,000 will be allocated towards supporting community residents during periods of unemployment or hardship.

$30,000 comprising $10,000 each will be allocated to three local family and domestic violence services: South Eastern Community Care, Bay City Care and The Deli for extension of emergency relief support services.

$20,000 be allocated for a transport program for vulnerable groups to be taken to vaccination clinics.

And $70,000 will be added to the council's Summer Foreshore Program to ensure a COVID Safe summer.

Each year council invests more than $300,000 in additional services for the council's 8km of open and unpatrolled beachfront including several major parks and the popular Brighton-Le-Sands precinct.

This includes additional council rangers patrolling popular areas along the foreshore, as well as extra bins for rubbish.

Last summer, Bayside Council introduced a COVID-safe version of its Summer Foreshore Program including the employment of off-duty police officers as well as extra rangers.

The council also provided redeployment opportunities to local QANTAS staff who acted as Summer Foreshore Ambassadors patrolling the foreshore monitoring crowds, providing public safety education.

The aim was to keep beaches, reserves, parks, walking trails and other public spaces open for the enjoyment and wellbeing of the community while adhering to NSW Public Health Orders and recommendations.