Council has closed its cultural facilities in response to the Coronavirus emergency. This includes libraries, Gallery and museum facilities.
The facilities will be closed for two weeks from 17 March, with the closure reviewed on a week-by-week basis after that. All associated events and public programs during this period have been cancelled or postponed.
The closures affect:
· Richmond-Tweed Regional Library branches at Tweed Heads, Kingscliff and Murwillumbah
· Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and Gallery DownTown in Murwillumbah
· Tweed Regional Museum at Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads and Uki.
Council’s Director Sustainable Communities and Environment Tracey Stinson said Council had a duty of care to its cultural facility patrons and the community.
“We made this decision because we have a relatively high proportion of our population over the age of 60 and many of these residents who are more likely to be vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus use our facilities as patrons and volunteers,” Ms Stinson said.
“There are 6000 visits to our library branches a week and 600 per day visit the Tweed Heads library alone.
“Add to that the 2500 people who visit the Tweed Regional Gallery weekly and you have a large group of people coming together – many of whom are in the vulnerable age bracket.
She stressed that no staff members at any of the affected facilities had been diagnosed with Coronavirus.
“Closing these facilities are a precautionary measure aimed at protecting staff and slowing the spread of the virus within the community,” she said.
Staff will continue to work at the facilities during the closures on behind-the scenes projects.
All library patrons are also advised that there will be a waiver on any library books due for return during the closedown period.