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Staff shortages impact Gold Coast’s lifeguard team and close Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre

Staff shortages impact Gold Coast’s lifeguard team and close Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre
January 7, 2022

The Gold Coast City Council is reported to be considering reducing patrol hours on its beaches as a result of its professional lifeguarding team being understaffed due to COVID-19 infections.

Pool lifeguard shortages have also forced the closure of the Council’s Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre closed, Council latest hit in staffing shortage crisis which will not reopen until next week.

As reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin, Council staff have been forced to isolate and take leave with the highly infectious Omicron strain over recent weeks.

The rapid spread of infection has forced council to temporarily close one of its most popular community venues, the Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre, while considering further measures if more of its staff are unable to work.

Gold Coast Deputy Mayor Donna Gates advised that “more lifeguards have COVID-19 and the pool will now be closed at Upper Coomera until 10th January at best.

“Clearly we need healthy staff and at the moment, (we) have only enough to keep Pimpama open.

A Council spokesperson said there were “comprehensive business continuity plans in place” to minimise the impact of Covid, including changes to rosters and the prioritisation of key services.

In a statement, the spokesperson advised “there has been no reduction to city lifeguard services at beaches at this stage but if required, the city will assess the need for reduced patrols and/or patrol hours.

“The city will continue to work closely with Surf Lifesaving Queensland to minimise impacts where possible and reminds beach goers to only swim between flagged areas during this period.

“The temporary closure of Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre was due to staffing impacts, with available staff redeployed to alternate aquatic centres."

Image: Gold Coast City Counci's professional lifeguards (top) and the Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre (below). Credit: Gold Coast City Council.

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