03 April 2020
The Barunga West Council met last night to discuss further precautions regarding COVID-19, and a ban on all non-essential travel to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Barunga West has been identified as a vulnerable town, because of the ageing population. Just over nine percent of its residents are aged 80 and over, with over 37 percent of people aged over 60.
“We love people visiting our Council area and you will be welcome once it is all over, but for now I’m asking all visitors to please stay home,” Mayor Kerley said.
“In recent days locals have contacted Elected Members concerned that people are not listening and tourists are still planning to come to our community with their boats in tow over the holidays.”
“We have also seen groups of 3 and more on small fishing boats, ignoring advice around social distancing.”
The Queensland Government has advised people cannot participate in recreational activities like they normally would such as fishing or boating, unless they live locally and need to fish for food or travel locally. Queenslanders have also been asked to adhere to the two-person rule for public and social distancing principles, and advised they should not leave their home unless it’s necessary.
Barunga West Council wants its recreational fishing community to be sensible about fishing during the COVID-19 epidemic and follow Queensland’s lead.
Mayor Kerley also said if tourists are still planning to visit our towns to fish over the holidays, Council will have no choice but to consider measures that can be put in place to restrict recreational access to council’s boat ramps at Port Broughton, Fisherman Bay and Tickera.
Earlier this week Mayor Kerley wrote an open letter to the Advertiser asking South Australians to refrain from visiting Barunga West’s tourist towns this School Holidays and Easter in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
At the time of this release, the Barunga West Council area was one of the few Council areas in South Australia with no confirmed COVID-19 cases.