Statewide Stay at Home
Over the weekend I caught an interview with one of our small business owners in Barwon, she said words to the effect of ‘if we survived the worst drought on record, huge dust storms, and a mice plague what’s a little lockdown?’
I know we’ve been battered over the last few years, and we were just starting to come through it all – farming was back, people had a bit of money to spend in town, and our grass was getting greener – this COVID outbreak has come at a time when times were getting better.
If the last few years have taught me anything about our communities it’s that we have an enormous ability to band together and pull through what’s thrown at us. I know our stores of resilience are looking a bit depleted but I have faith in all of us to do the right thing and get back to normal as soon as possible.
I know no one wanted to see COVID in our communities. We have all done so much to prevent this virus from coming out west, that’s what aides my confidence that we can nip this in the bud. It would be easy for us to start casting blame at individuals, and build frustration at those you perceive as doing the wrong thing. I ask that you remember you are only responsible for your own actions – focus on doing the right thing for yourself and your family – staying at home, wearing a mask if you need to go out, and checking in wherever you go. These things will keep you safe.
I have supported the move to lockdown our communities because our health services simply won’t cope with a high number of cases. This is a message I have been delivering to government since COVID first arrived in Australia. It’s for this reason the government is so concerned about what’s happening in our communities. I’m regularly in contact with the Health Minister and Dr Chant, so be assured they understand the concerns you have expressed to me. I still want to see greater transparency on health advice and decisions, but with a need to act quickly based on what I do know and have been told - I have supported their decisions so far.
I would like to give a shout out to every Health employee across Barwon, you have all done fantastic work under trying times to get testing sites set up, to coordinate vaccine clinics, all on top of keeping our local health facilities running – this monumental effort by all of you has not gone unnoticed – thank you.
Our local Police have the difficult job of enforcing the lockdown restrictions, please remember they too are experiencing the frustration of having weddings, birthdays and catch-ups cancelled. When questioned by them please remember, they’re doing their jobs in very trying times.
Please abide with the new conditions, and remember the overall objective is to limit movement and interaction. Don’t try and find loopholes.
We are at a critical stage, we have all witnessed the rapid rise in numbers at Dubbo over the last week. This just shows how quickly this Delta strain of this virus can spread. For those who think this is not a serious illness, please reconsider.
Come forward and get tested if you display even the slightest flu-like symptoms.
COVID is in our communities and on the doorstep of others – we must collectively all play out part to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.
Vaccines are increasingly available, please make time to look at the eligibility checker and appointments options near you. My team and I understand people’s frustration at having vaccine appointments cancelled while continually being asked to get a vaccination. We are doing all we can to get more vaccine pop-up clinics in our communities.
It is a stressful time for a lot of people at the moment and the social, economic and psychological effects of this virus and lockdown on people is not lost on me.
There is understandably a lot of information circulating in the community right now, please only rely on information from official sources.
If you require any assistance whatsoever, or some advice on interpretation of orders please do not hesitate to either contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or my offices on Narrabri 02 6792 1422, Cobar 02 6836 3722, Broken Hill 08 8087 3315 or email [email protected]