Following a meeting of interested business owners, MidCoast Council staff and contractors last week, the commencement date for the Old Bar roadwork through the CBD has been pushed back to just after the Anzac weekend.
This follows concerns from the business community of the adverse impact this would have had if it had been commenced before the school holidays and continued through them. Businesses were already adversely impacted during the bushfire crisis and they were looking to recover some of their poor trading figures during the autumn school holidays.
Apart from that issue, diagrams of the works were displayed and the method of operation was explained with suggestions made regarding better traffic management and maintaining access to car parks from Cross Street and Waterman Street.
COVID-19 Impacts on Old Bar
At the time of writing this, a number of businesses and activities have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a direction from RSL NSW, there will be no public Anzac Day ceremonies this year; no dawn service or breakfast; no march or town service and no flag raising ceremonies.
The Old Bar Beach RSL Sub-branch also took the decision to suspend the Saturday morning meat raffles due to the risk to the volunteer ticket sellers and the public, particularly in regard to handling money. Barwalla RSL Day Club has also suspended meetings.
Following a direction from the Anglican bishop of Newcastle, there is to be no public worship until further notice. Similar action has been taken by the Catholic church. Pastoral care is still being provided. Old Bar Bible Church has also suspended services.
The Community Technology Centre has closed for the time being. The risk to the volunteers and the public through keyboards and money handling being too high. Technical support may still be able to be provided by contacting the centre on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Bar markets were held last Sunday but there will be no more until further notice.
The library remains open but all social activities within the network have been suspended. Vinnies remained trading and most other businesses continued to trade. Restaurants, cafes, clubs and the tavern had to alter their operations to meet the control guidelines. Bowls have been cancelled but bowlers can still attend for a roll-up.
Most of these businesses will now close or be much more strictly controlled with cafes able to offer take away only.
Anyone keeping abreast of the situation would realise that the situation is dynamic and further closures or restrictions could be in place by the time of going to press. Keep up to date with news broadcasts and information from our Chief Medical Officers.