The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has announced the closure of many local sporting grounds until the end of April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, a motion including all schools, sports clubs, and any other organisation that uses council-owned or managed sporting fields cease all events, training, and competitions until May, was moved.
The grounds included are Carr Confoy, North Park, Seiffert Oval, Prell Oval, Cookbundoon Sporting Fields, and Goodhew Park.
Along with those grounds, Veolia Arena and the basketball stadium have been closed, as have the swimming pool and all of its facilities.
"There is a lot of discussion in the media in regard to the coronavirus and how Australia can protect ourselves from the spread to the same limit as we've seen in Europe and China and Korea," council general manager, Warwick Bennett, said at the meeting.
"I think we need to play a large leadership role in that issue to ensure that we do everything we can as a council to prohibit the spread of the coronavirus."
The move to close the sporting grounds was made as part of a larger motion from the council addressing all relevant services, events, meetings, and council operations in response to the coronavirus.
Mr Bennett explained that he, along with the executive team, decided to close the grounds until the end of April because the pandemic is an "evolving issue".
"We will continue to report to this council on every meeting. I would be very surprised if one of the recommendations or reports coming back to you before the meeting in April ... that that date is not extended considerably.
"Because it's an evolving issue, it's nearly an hour-by-hour issue."
Later in the meeting, Mr Bennett added that the date was also chosen as it coincided with the end of school holidays.
- Also read: Let's all enjoy the footy while we can
The council's decision to close the local sporting grounds runs in conjunction with announcements from the majority of major sporting bodies in the state and the country to suspend all competitions.
Most, like council, have named early May as the earliest end date of these delays, but many have also acknowledged the possibility of extending such postponements if the pandemic continues.
As of March 22, there are 469 confirmed cases of coronavirus in NSW, nearly half of the 1,098 confirmed cases nationally.
While you're with us...
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up here.