Mayor welcomes return of regional travel

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MAyor IV with WIN News - web

Mayor Mark Honey has welcomed the lifting of regional travel restrictions from 1 June.

Clr. Honey said council, local business and the wider community were well-prepared for the lifting of travel restrictions, and the return of visitors.

“Council has been working for some time to ensure all areas of our community are ready for the staged lifting of COVID-19 restrictions,” Clr. Honey said.

“Our economy is heavily reliant on visitors and tourists, and our business owners and their employees have suffered enormously ever since the summer bushfires and now with COVID.”

 “What’s most important is that our guests can be assured we have done everything possible to make our municipality a COVID-Safe community.”

Clr. Honey said council had provided local business with the resources and information needed to manage the expected increase in shoppers, guest and diners.

This included advice on managing queues, seating arrangements and hygiene practices.

Clr. Honey has asked people now planning to come to Kiama, Gerringong, Jamberoo and Gerroa to respect the COVID-19 measures that remain in place such as physical distancing and hand sanitising.

“We have put a lot of work into being able to welcome everyone back and keeping you, and our community, safe.”

“Please come down, enjoy our beautiful beaches, villages, shops, holiday parks and cafes. But please respect the physical distancing and hygiene practices that have made it possible to travel once more.”

General Manager Kerry McMurray said while the lifting of restrictions was good news, council was looking forward to receiving the full details of the changes from the NSW Government.

“While we are looking forward to welcoming visitors, we need to know when we can re-open our holiday parks for example,” Mr McMurray said.

“We run five holiday parks, which along with our privately-owned parks, are heavily restricted when it comes to guests.”

“In the short time since this announcement that regional travel will resume, our parks have been flooded with calls from people wanting to book accommodation.”

“Our managers, like their private-sector counterparts, will need answers sooner rather than later about when they can re-open.”

“Again, we have invested significant sums in the refurbishment of our parks recently, to encourage people to continue to visit our beautiful region.”

“Since the bushfires, and now COVID, they’ve been mostly empty.”

“That’s not only a financial problem for Kiama, and the many other regional councils that have holiday parks, but the local shops, cafes, tour guides and the like that rely on these parks being busy.”

Image: Clr. Honey being questioned about the lifting of restrictions