In response to the Victorian Government’s announcement regarding the reopening of outdoor pools, all Council-run pools must undergo a series of checks and procedures before they are ready and equipped to open to the public.
The City of Ballarat staff are working behind-the-scenes to make sure all outdoor pools are ready for visitors and are setting in place a regime of safety measures to protect community members, families and staff.
Maintenance is scheduled to commence next week; it will include a series of checks regarding pool hygiene, water chemistry, the removal of debris and maintenance of equipment.
The Parks and Gardens team will also need to assess and review all the outdoor pools surrounding trees and lawns to make sure the environment is safe for the public to visit.
All outdoor pools will also have to undergo planning and preparation to ensure social distancing requirements are met and that all staff have undergone a comprehensive COVID-19 workplace and hygiene induction.
At this stage, the scheduled date to reopen all of Ballarat’s outdoor pools is November.
Due to the colder climate, Ballarat’s outdoor pool season always commences later in the year than other parts of the state.
The schedule of maintenance will begin next week, in preparation for Ballarat’s outdoor pool season.
City of Ballarat playgrounds will reopen in a progressive manner from early next week, after all compliance and safety checks have been conducted.
Restrictions will still apply to playground use as directed by the Victorian Government.
The City of Ballarat continues to push boundaries in helping the community emotionally manage the impact of COVID-19 restrictions by creating what appears to be a world first – a 1300 hotline where residents can dial in to express their emotions and have those feelings transformed into a specially composed piece of music.
1300 ROAR is a project of the Creative City Strategy of the City of Ballarat and has been developed as part of the City’s ongoing commitment to supporting the arts and culture sector as well as integrating creativity into the City’s response to recovery from the pandemic.
“There is a significant psychological component to the recovery we will need to undertake as a city,” says Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor. “We understand that our community needs to have an avenue to voice their emotions – whether they are feeling frustration, sadness, grief, hope or joy. The 1300 ROAR project gives everyone an outlet to express their emotions in a healthy and productive way.”
Residents will be able to call the hotline on 1300 728 760 from now until mid-October. The service also has the capacity to connect residents to Lifeline should they need to speak directly to a person about what they are feeling.
“Ballarat has proven to be ahead of the curve in both managing community wellbeing and injecting much-needed funds into the vulnerable creative sector during lockdown times. This lockdown is no different,” says Cr Taylor.
How does it work? Residents will be able to dial an answering machine and have three minutes to voice their feelings. Everyone’s submission is anonymous. The files are not listened to – instead they are compressed into a single file. The total compressed files are supplied to a local digital sound engineer and composer to craft a soundscape or a piece of music designed to lift spirits and encapsulate this important time.
Cr Taylor is keen to reassure participants that their contribution is treated with the utmost confidence.
“All calls are received as digital files and they are compressed into one another. We have ensured that they are not in a listenable format and the compression causes the merged sound files to form a dull hum. No words are discernible.”
All participants are covered by the City of Ballarat’s privacy statement; these guidelines can be found on the City of Ballarat website.
The 1300 ROAR project has been designed to deliver against the City of Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy, implement action as a Compassionate City and the Prosperity Framework in highlighting and celebrating the positive, caring and forward-thinking community we aspire to be.