Two Illawarra MPs will continue to push to have the region removed from lockdown, following the announcement that the entirety of Greater Sydney - including Wollongong and Shellharbour - will remain under the stay-at-home order.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday morning that the lockdown would continue for another week, until Friday July 16.
She acknowledged residents of areas like Wollongong and Shellharbour would be particularly frustrated, but there was a need to reduce mobility to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Liberal Kiama MP Gareth Ward, a former minister in Ms Berejiklian's government, has started an online petition to remove the Illawarra from the stay-at-home order immediately.
Mr Ward said on Wednesday that no evidence had been provided to show why the region needed to remain under lockdown.
"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," he said.
He had already approached the government on behalf of himself and fellow Illawarra MPs about freeing the region from the order.
Member for Shellharbour, Labor's Anna Watson, confirmed she would also make further representations about the issue.
"I don't think Shellharbour should be included in this lockdown," Ms Watson said.
She told the Mercury that she spoke to chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Wednesday morning about there having been no recent new cases, and asked her for the justification of the lockdown in the area.
With no cases, she questioned why the lockdown continued.
Ms Watson and her Labor colleagues, Wollongong MP Paul Scully and Member for Keira Ryan Park, have written to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet requesting the extension of business support packages; the relaxation of the turnover eligibility criteria, to allow more businesses to access support; and measures to help workers who are experiencing financial hardship.
But Mr Park and Mr Scully said they would make no further representations to the government about releasing the region from lockdown before July 16, citing the health advice.
"At this stage of the pandemic, we have to take that advice and accept that advice," Mr Park said.
But he acknowledged the community would be disappointed and the extension would be difficult, especially for those with children at home and small businesses.
Mr Scully noted there was strong connectivity between the Illawarra and the three local governments currently of most concern, those being Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury Bankstown, and Wollongong's proximity to Sydney.
He said the health advice was made for a reason and it was time to focus on managing the impacts of lockdown.
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