SECORD AND O’NEILL ASK FOR TIMETABLE ON RE-OPENING OF BONDI BEACH – URGES BEREJIKLIAN GOVERNMENT TO BE CAUTIOUS

NSW Labor has asked the Berejiklian Government to provide a timetable on the re-opening of Bondi Beach – one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots.

This was after it was reported that Waverley Council and the State Government were in discussions about the possible re-opening of Bondi Beach.

The call was issued by Coogee MP Dr Marjorie O’Neill and NSW Shadow Treasurer and North Bondi resident Walt Secord.

NSW Labor today called on the Berejiklian Government to provide a timetable and framework for the re-opening of Bondi Beach.

They also called for the release of any medical advice or modelling on the impact.

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Mr Secord urged the State Government to take a very cautious approach to revising its social distancing rules at Bondi Beach and asked that it not to rush to open Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach is fenced off but people can walk on the promenade and grassed areas.

“Community safety must come first and we do not want to see a spike or a second wave of infections through the eastern suburbs,” Mr Secord said.

“We need clear and unequivocal advice from the health officials too.”

Coogee MP Dr Marjorie O’Neill said it was a large influx of visitors to the area who were engaging in the risky behaviour on the Friday and Saturday of March 20-21 when tens of thousands of people crowded on to Bondi.

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“Locals are doing the right thing. There is a path forward to re-opening the beaches, but it must be safe. We all want to see the beach re-open, but we also want to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Dr O’Neill said.

In the Waverley local government area, which includes Bondi Beach, there have been at least 177 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 27 were “unknown acquired”.

On March 21, the Berejiklian Government and Waverley Council were forced to close Bondi Beach after tens of thousands gathered on the beach – against the then-restriction on non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people in outdoor spaces. Since then, tougher social gathering restrictions were applied.