I’d like to personally thank the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, for listening to my call yesterday to lift the curfew. It was a direct request to provide immediate relief to our residents living in those suburbs of concern.
It’s heartening to hear that the 9pm – 5am curfew will be lifted tonight.
While this is a good step forward, there’s still more to do, including revisiting the suburbs identified as areas of concern, especially Orchard Hills that has only had one case since the second wave started.
In addition, there’s several suburbs now showing a significant reduction in COVID-19 numbers. The criteria for defining areas of concern needs to be revised, and suburbs with low case numbers or those with a significant decline in numbers need to be removed as an area of concern.
There needs to be an ongoing assessment, not a set and forget because when we forget, we’re turning our back on the detrimental effect that these harsh restrictions have on residents who live in those suburbs.
We are also in critical need of a vaccination hub in the epicentre of the outbreak. St Marys is the most appropriate area for this, and we will continue to call on the government to implement its delivery.
Council continues to bridge the gap in access to essential food and other items for those who are in need. I’m hopeful that the meeting with the Premier yesterday will bring about even more change, including the State government assisting with additional financial support to help residents’ access food. We also ask that further support be provided to assist local businesses as they reopen.
We need to keep the conversation going, today is a good start, but there’s still work to be done as we support our communities through this pandemic.
Cr Karen McKeown OAM