Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today condemned the decision to extend lockdowns in the Illawarra region.
Last week, Mr Ward started an on-line petition opposing the Illawarra lockdown which has so far received almost 13,000 signatures.
“I support lockdowns where there is an overriding public health reason to do so. When there are no cases of community transition, there is no case to lockdown our region,” Mr Ward said.
“A COVID case does not equate to community transmission.
“If you are going to place caveats on people’s individual liberties, hurt businesses and disrupt families, you need to have a justification based on evidence.
“It is an incredibly serious decision for any Government to instruct hundreds of thousands of people to stay at home and only leave unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ and failure to do so can result in a fine or even arrest!
“If there was a sensible argument for lockdowns in our community, then so be it. But if such an argument exists, I’m yet to hear it.
“If cases of community transmission appear in our community, I am more than happy to revisit the question of lockdowns. But in the absence of a clear explanation about the threshold test to lockdown a community, a clear explanation about the appreciable risk and the associated evidence, it is impossible to support this lockdown.
“Whilst I appreciate there is no ‘how-to’ guide to dealing with a global pandemic, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a local MP if I wasn’t asking reasonable questions about the reasons behind this lockdown that is seriously impacting our community.
“Our community is my priority. Whatever the consequences for me, my loyalty to our region comes before everything else. In the absences of evidence and an explanation, I cannot support this decision,” Mr Ward concluded.