Deputy Premier must apologise
25 August, 2021
Today ABC Broken Hill broadcast comments from the Deputy Premier of NSW, Minister for Regional NSW and the Leader of The NSW Nationals that must be addressed. His statements are devoid of fact, highly offensive and must be retracted immediately.
On 13 August a funeral was held in Wilcannia to farewell a young man. At that time the Central Darling Shire was not in lockdown, funerals were permitted, and every step was taken to make this funeral COVID safe.
There was not a single offence by Wilcannia residents detected by NSW Police before, during or after the funeral. There were no breaches of the health orders by anyone living in Wilcannia.
I will not standby and have the Deputy Premier blame the good people of Wilcannia for the failings of the NSW Liberal-National Government or the Federal Liberal-National Government to address and contain COVID-19 and protect our vulnerable communities.
The Wilcannia community have done everything in their power to protect themselves from COVID, they have made sacrifices in the last 18 months beyond anyone’s comprehension. In the last week they have organised themselves to fight against COVID in their community. They have organised food deliveries, they have organised welfare checks, and they looked after themselves for a number of days. It took days and my appeals to see State Government assistance finally delivered.
These offensive comments today come from a man who says “No-one understands rural and regional communities like The Nationals do” – clearly they don’t.
It’s not within my nature to make statements like this, but I cannot ignore something as appalling as this. The Deputy Premier must reflect on his comments and apologise to the community.
Listen to the comments here: https://fb.watch/7RqG5kopwQ/
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