Since the start of the June lockdowns, there has been no cases of community transmission in either Shellharbour or Wollongong Local Government Areas.
When decisions about Public Health Orders are made, not only should the reasons be explained but evidence should also be provided. Decisions without reasons is completely and totally unacceptable.
As no such evidence has been presented and given our region has had 0 cases of community transmission in the Illawarra since the start of the June lockdown, I am opposed to extending the lockdown period for the Shellharbour and Wollongong Local Government Areas.
If we see new cases of COVID-19 in the region reappear, we can re-visit health advice and future Public Health Orders.
It makes no sense to limit individual liberty, damage business and cause hardship for families when there is no overriding and greater public health reason for doing so.
I have been asked by local residents to generate a petition so that local people can voice their concerns. The link is available here: https://www.garethwardmp.com.au/covid_lockdown_illawarra
Whilst there is still no other place in the world I’d rather be right now than Australia and particularly NSW, I won’t sit back and allow decisions to be made for our community without these serious and impactful decisions being properly explained and justified. If there is no proper explanation and justification, the decision should be reversed.
I have formally written to the NSW Premier and the NSW Health Minister to express these concerns.
The position to oppose the inclusion of Wollongong and Shellharbour Local Government Areas is a bipartisan position with discussions taking place yesterday amongst local MPs. This position was communicated to the NSW Government yesterday and reiterated this morning.