LGNSW thanks Premier for meeting with COVID-hit mayors

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott has personally thanked NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for finally meeting with 12 western and south western mayors in Sydney’s worst hit COVID areas this week to hear their concerns regarding the impacts of punishing lockdown conditions on their communities.

Cr Scott said the mayors were highly frustrated after dealing with the cumulative effects of the lockdown on their residents over several weeks and had been feeling ignored by the State Government following the Premier’s initial rejection to requests to meet with them.

“I am glad the Premier had a change of heart and finally met with mayors in our hardest hit communities,” Cr Scott said.

“I understand yesterday’s meeting was heated, but it is only understandable given the pressures our mayors are under, especially in these communities that are bearing the brunt of the highest COVID numbers.

“They wanted clear answers on when crushing curfews and other oppressive restrictions would be lifted, and they wanted her to know clearly just how frustrated their communities are.

“I commend the Premier for taking the meeting and have written to her to personally thank her. I am sure she now has an even clearer picture of the challenges facing our councils and communities.

“In the end, State and local government are all on the same page. We want our communities to be safe, we want to get people vaccinated and we want to get out of lockdown so councils can continue to provide a locally led economic recovery that creates new jobs in the process.”

Cr Scott said LGNSW would continue to work with the NSW Government to ensure a partnership approach that would help lead the State safely out of restrictions.

“Councils are the closest form of government to our communities and are on the frontlines of supporting people through this crisis,” she said.

“The first person a resident in crisis will call is their local councillor or mayor - that’s why local government continues to play a vital role in helping people get vaccinated.

“I look forward to continuing productive and cooperative working relationship between State and local government to ensure we all do our very best to manage the shifting priorities during this pandemic.”

Cr Scott said LGNSW, country mayors and general managers would meet with Deputy Premier John Barilaro this Friday to discuss how to best support regions in the grip of COVID, including boosting vaccination rollouts, testing facilities, sewer testing and pathways out of lockdown.

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