Don’t let lockdown divide us

The 3800 strong protest in Sydney last Saturday has a put Greater Sydney, which includes the Central Coast, into another two weeks of lockdown. And, despite the fact that the most recent Central Coast Covid infection is an individual from Blue Haven who attended the Sydney rally, it is clear that the Berejiklian Government hast lost control of the spread of the virus.

28 July 2021


YESTERDAY, we saw a record high in the latest outbreak in NSW COVID-19 cases with 172 cases, including 60 infectious in the community.


The Central Coast Community, as well as Greater Sydney, is being impacted by a set of circumstances that are challenging for even the most resilient people amongst us.


People’s livelihoods, their businesses and their Mental Health are under severe pressure, more so than ever before, including during the 2020 Lockdown.


People are worried about how they will pay their bills, their rent, and their mortgages.

There is uncertainty and anxiety for many families, workers and businesses that hasn’t been seen before in peacetime. And people are worried, even scared about what they will do even when the Lockdown ends.


In this environment people will make decisions, which might not in hindsight be the best for them or the Community. This fear, which is coupled with irrational behaviour, culminated with the Sydney rally last Saturday (July 24).


What happened last Saturday, when then is a hard lockdown, is wrong - it put the whole of the community at risk. But what do you say to someone whose business has collapsed, their home, which was security for that business, will be lost and there is no money to put food on the table? What do you say to those people who don’t trust the Government, because the very Government that is supposed to take care of them lies to them and has let them down? What do you say to someone who has lost everything, including their dignity, and who has nothing else to lose? How do you convince that person that anarchy is not the final solution?


“Under pressure people don’t necessarily make the best decisions, but attacking each other through Social media and other avenues will not make the Lockdown end earlier,” said David Harris, Member for Wyong and Shadow Minister for the Central Coast.


“I ask that people across the Central Coast reflect on their decisions and actions every day through lenses that focus on possible impacts on the whole community.


“Now is the time to be supporting each other, following the rules and moving through this situation as soon as we can.


“What I do ask from Central Coast people at this time is that we do not turn on each other.”


Unfortunately, there are no silver bullet solutions in circumstances such as we currently face and only through following the restrictions and trying to get vaccinated can we move through the current covid crisis. Imposing fines does not work, it only raises revenue. Honest communication does! But to do so, we need a State Government that is forthright with its citizens and explain to them in simple language why it is important for the restrictions to apply. Explain, in detail, the health information upon which they rely to make their decisions.


We also need a State and Federal Government that doesn’t make people and businesses jump through hoops to get financial assistance. That’s why we need to enter the next phase of lockdown with JobKeeper.

Having further weeks of lockdown without JobKeeper will be too tough for tens of thousands of businesses and workers in NSW.

The best way to provide certainty for NSW and to ensure no businesses or livelihoods are lost over the coming months, is to ensure we enter the next phase of lockdown with the right economic support in place from the start.

This is the fifth week of lockdown with the lockdown now being extended for a further two weeks. There is no excuse for entering into a longer lockdown in New South Wales without JobKeeper.


Most important, we need an end to political bickering. We need any differences between the Federal and NSW Governments and the State Governments to be put aside in the interests of providing more financial support being put in place right now.

This is a deeper lockdown than in 2020. If it extends too much longer, it could end up being a longer lockdown than in 2020.

The only thing that is different, is that NSW doesn’t have the same financial support for workers and businesses that existed in 2020.

No one should be penalised or no businesses lost simply because they are complying with the public health orders.


Where do we go from here?


We have a Prime Minister that wittingly lied to Australians about securing vaccines. He should go! He doesn’t deserve to hold the office bestowed upon him.


We also need:


  • a Coast-based vaccination hub to improve vaccinations, but is problematic until there are sufficient vaccines available.


  • streamlining and improved access to Business grants particularly micro business to help them through this difficult time.


  • to reduce Central Coast restrictions, when it is safe to do so (following Health Advice).


  • improved Community Mental Health services, which are sustained even after Lockdown.


But most important, we need to support each other. We need to reflect on what is happening and commend and thank those individuals and organisations who unselfishly give their time.


David Harris said, “I would personally like to thank those out in the community, who everyday give their support through delivering food and looking after vulnerable people across the Central Coast in this difficult time – they are real heroes.”

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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