Muttonbird Island remains closed.
Muttonbird Island remains closed. Janine Watson

Breakwall open again but reserve remains closed

MONDAY: The Coffs Harbour Northern Breakwall from the storm gate has been re-opened this morning.

The popular walkway will close again in three weeks to allow for work to be undertaken on the southern side of the breakwall.

However, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve and the Marina Boardwalk remain closed to the public.

SATURDAY:

Authorities have closed the Northern Breakwall, boardwalk and Muttonbird Island to help enforce social distancing.

The breakwall has been closed from the storm gate with a sign put in place on Friday evening.

It is popular with dog walkers and joggers but authorities have experienced an influx of people along the narrow strip in recent days.

The breakwall leads to Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve which has also experienced an influx of people.

The island is one of the only easily-accessible places in NSW where the migratory wedge-tailed shearwater nests.

People have taken to social media to express their frustration at the situation.

" I think it's the only thing people have got left to 'do' so even those who don't usually do much exercise have decided they need to, so they at least see the outdoors! There were heaps of people walking at Coffs yesterday. Swimming, fishing, all the usual," Kat Elizabeth Richardson posted on the Woolgoolga Northern Beaches What's happening Facebook page.

"Same as the plaza yesterday, people EVERYWHERE.  I was there working, and so frustrating seeing people everywhere, kids with no shoes on, people don't care. 

"I know if I had the option to stay home and not have to go to to work during all this I would be at home with my family.  People just don't care, they will still do whatever they want," posted Sarah Zelvis.

National Parks and Wildlife Service has closed Muttonbird Island after concerns that social distancing regulations were not being followed.
National Parks and Wildlife Service has closed Muttonbird Island after concerns that social distancing regulations were not being followed.

Under new laws, which came into effect on Tuesday, courts can issue penalties of up to six months jail or fines of up to $11,000 for individuals, and $55,000 for corporations.

Locals flouting social distancing and isolation laws will now also cop $1,000 on-the-spot fines.

Member for Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh has advised using common sense when making the decision to exercise.

"Under the current guidelines, people can leave their homes to exercise but must continue to social distance.

"If in doubt, don't do it."

To see the full list of reasonable excuses for leaving home, click visit preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/public-health-orders.



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